The Earth’s Health is Your Health

Sraddha Helfrich; Joel Helfrich
University of Minnesota Medical Student; The Twin Cities Green Guide

In the springtime, we eagerly anticipate the fresh green of the new foliage, signifying the awakening of life in the flora around us after a cold and often long winter. As each season fades into the next, and the green turns into various hues of gold, red, orange and brown, then retreats into bareness, we may grumble and express our discontent. Yet, when acres of green forest teeming with life are cut down to raise lifeless, colorless buildings, we do not seem to be bothered. As a society, we do not understand what we are losing, not only in terms of biodiversity, sources of rare medicinal plants and rare animals, but also in terms of our spirits as citizens of this planet. We cannot live divorced from the earth. We must feverishly protect the wonderful and intricate web of life that is billions of years in the making. Both animate and inanimate beings are all members of this web. If one member of this web is disturbed, the vitality of the other members, including humans, is also disrupted. We have seen a marked increase during the past few decades in the incidence of cancer and various environmental allergies. These health signs cannot be disregarded and we must, as a species and as a society, acknowledge our role in it. We are using the web of life to fulfill our greed, rather than being a positive, contributing member to life.

Incidentally, green is the official color of the medical profession – a profession that aims to maintain and sustain life in humans. We must be careful that, as we go on our own path to health, we do not tread heavily on mother earth. In the present health care system, too many resources are being used with unsatisfactory results. We have more technology and fancy medicines, but are we honestly more healthy as a society as a result of these advances? Probably not. We have food to feed ourselves, but we are not eating the right types of food. Thus while we have the highest rates of obesity in our nation, we are the most malnourished country in the world. Rather than live a life of balance, we veer away from simple, daily measures to achieve health and perpetually rely on expensive medicines to deal with illnesses that are in their end-stage.

As you progress on your personal path to health, we hope you will be inspired to turn a world run by greed to a world committed to “green.” The earth’s health is your health. Love other people and love the earth. Please read this section and share the information with others.

Earth’s Health is Your Health

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