Health in the Green Economy, a new series of studies produced by the World Health Organization, highlights how decreasing climate change will have an immediate and increasingly positive effect on the population’s health. Many noncommunicable diseases, such as cancer, chronic respiratory illness, obesity and cardiovascular disease can be prevented by an increase in green investments.
Green transportation, housing and energy policies will benefit both the environment and the world’s overall health. Creating and acting upon green policies is a win-win situation for all. Many changes to green alternatives have an immediate positive impact on health while positively affecting climate change. The health sector should be a prevalent force in the push for new green initiatives to benefit the public’s health.
In housing, green insulation choices are on the rise, providing more energy-efficient buildings that will lower greenhouse gas emissions in years to come. The immediate effect of green buildings is the fact that allergies and asthma are reduced because of fewer toxic chemicals in the air. More tightly sealed homes also reduce the risk of strokes and other heart related issues due to the stable temperature. More attention must be paid to ensuring adequate air ventilation is maintained. New health risks are created by buildings without proper ventilation.
Although the focus has long been on alternative transportation, little has been said about the health benefits and social benefits gained by using sustainable transportation. An increased effort to provide safe walking areas, cycling paths and public transportation will provide great health benefits by promoting healthy exercise which in turn reduces some health related issues.
By focusing on basic green initiatives, even countries with few resources can see a vast improvement in their population. Many lifestyle changes are necessary for good health, but they need a healthy environment to make them most effective.