The current food system is unsustainable and ‘distorted by inequalities of access’. More than enough food is generated for the 7 billion population, yet half the global population is malnourished and about 2 billion are deficient in key micronutrients (see Pettinger, 2018).
Mental health and physical health have a strong bidirectional relationship. A bidirectional relationship refers to two entities that influence each other, such as sleep quality and mental health, physical illness and stress, and arguably, nature and nurture.
What is environmental literacy, and why should health professionals incorporate it into their education and practice? As the climate crisis poses increased environmental health risks to individuals and institutions, health professionals are in a unique position to respond and act. One way is to increase environmental literacy.
'The clear message to everyone working for a green, healthy, and liveable future: keep going, momentum is building' (The Lancet Planetary Health, 2021). These words in a recent editorial to the Lancet Planetary Health (2021) are both highly encouraging and deeply resonant with my experience of what is happening in the world of healthcare at the moment.
After many years of being an anaesthetist with an interest in sustainability, I was appointed to the role of Climate Change Lead for my local ICS (West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership). Along with a small but committed team, we set about delivering one of the ICS’s Big Ambitions, spelled out in the five year strategy – we aspire to be a global leader in our response to climate change.
What a year to be thinking about the sustainability of the NHS. All of those of us working within our National Health Service have a huge amount to be proud of given the progress made in terms of NHS sustainability despite the strain on health services caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic. Thank you all for the work you have been doing despite the challenging conditions.