OK In Health - Environmental Care

How to become an environmentalist - March 2022

By David Suzuki

By Environment Care Articles

Young people often ask me what they have to do to be environmentalists. They want to make a difference. My answer is, “Follow your heart. Do what you love most and pursue it with passion.”  

You see, environmentalism isn’t a profession or discipline; it’s a way of seeing our place in the world. It’s recognizing that we live on a planet where everything, including us, is exquisitely interconnected with and interdependent on everything else.

Life-giving water moves from ocean to air to land, across the globe, linking all life through the hydrologic cycle. Every breath we take contains oxygen from every plant on land and in the sea, as well as whatever issues from every factory chimney and vehicle on Earth. The web of all living things constantly partakes of and cleanses, replenishes, and restores air, water, soil, and energy. In this way of seeing the world, we are not only recipients of nature’s most vital gifts – we are participants in her cycles.

Whatever we toss without a thought or deliberately dump into our surroundings doesn’t simply vanish or dilute away. Our use of air, water, and soil as garbage dumps means that those emissions and pollutants move through the biosphere, ecosystems, habitats, and eventually our own bodies and cells.

Environmentalism is recognition of this. We need all people – plumbers, teachers, doctors, carpenters, garage mechanics, businesspeople, artists, scientists – to see and understand the world that way because once we “get it”, we treat our surroundings in a radically different way, with the respect that we should have toward our own bodies and loved ones.

For most of human existence, we were hunter-gatherers who understood how deeply embedded in and utterly dependent on nature we were. Until we underwent the massive transformation from agrarian life to big-city dwelling, people knew that we were part of nature and needed nature for survival. We watched the skies for hints of a change in weather or for the first sighting of migrating birds. We welcomed the appearance of buds on the bushes, the first signs of spring thaw, or the indicators that winter was on its way.

Today we spend less and less of our time outside. I have a friend who lives in the north end of Toronto in an air-conditioned highrise building. On weekdays, he goes down the elevator into the basement where he climbs into his air-conditioned car to drive the Don Valley freeway to the air-conditioned commercial building where he works. That building is connected through a series of tunnels to vast shopping malls and food marts. “I really don’t have to go outside for days,” he once told me.

Ours is a shattered world, with torrents of information assaulting us from every angle. Headlines may scream of the aftermath of a hockey playoff or a devastating tornado in the southern U.S., and then trumpet Oprah’s last TV program and another sex scandal. And then we hear of floods in Pakistan or Manitoba, forest fires raging in northern Alberta, and thinning sea ice in the Arctic, retreating glaciers, and drought in rainforests.

Reports about floods and droughts and sea ice and climate change get sandwiched between clips about scandals and celebrities, and so we view them as isolated events. An environmental perspective would consider the possibility that many of the events are connected to an underlying cause. Such a perspective would help us get to the root of problems rather than trying to stamp out brushfires without identifying the source of a conflagration.

We tend to think of environmentalists as folks concerned about nature or an endangered species or threatened ecosystem. Environmentalists are accused of caring more for spotted owls or trees than people and jobs. That’s absurd. In seeing a world of interconnections, we understand that people are at the heart of a global ecocrisis and that genuine sustainability means also dealing with issues of hunger and poverty, of inequity and lack of justice, of terrorism, genocide, and war, because so long as these issues confront humanity, sustainability will be a low priority.

In our interconnected world, all of these issues are a part of the unsustainable path we are on. If we want to find solutions, we have to look at the big picture.

 




Environment  Care  ArticlesEnvironment Care's Bio: OK In Health started a GREEN wellness e-Magazine in 2004. We wanted to start a magazine that was completely green with a zero footprint.


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Wellness Tip
Fad diets
Did you know that an English undertaker published the first diet book in 1864? Since then, hundreds of fad diets, most promising quick fixes, have come and gone. For long-term weight loss, our registered dietitian recommends forgoing fad diets. Step by step lifestyle changes will benefit your weight, your health, and your quality of life!


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Event
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Date: Oct 1, 2022
Location: Vernon & North Okanagan
Three annual Expos serving the Okanagan in Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton. Shop ‘til you drop!
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Article
Celtic Wheel
As we start a new year, it is a nice time to take a moment to give thanks for the blessings of the past year. A time to embrace and set the intent for a blessed new year ahead of us. In Eiru we have a wheel. Often called the ‘Wheel of the Sun’ or the Celtic Wheel' this goes back through time immemorial and is often seen carved into our stones within the sacred sites. This wheel connect with the seasons of the year. 1st November beings the first day of the new year. Now a days people celebrate the New Year on January 1st. In the Celtic wheel 1st November beings the first day of the new year...
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Recipe
Fresh Cherry Crisp
Category: Desserts
Description: What says summer more than cherries?
A fruit crisp offers the luscious flavor of a fresh fruit pie without the fuss of making a crust. Celebrate the arrival of cherries with this rich-tasting crisp. The nut-studded topping works great with other fruit combinations too.
This is a delicious cherry crisp made with fresh cherries instead of canned. It may take a little longer to make because you need to pit the cherries, but it is well worth it when you taste the finished product.

The nutritional benefits of cherries are pretty big, particularly when you consider their small size. Many of the health benefits of cherries are related to the natural chemical that gives them their color.

Anthocyanins give flowers, berries and other fruits the colors ranging from red to blue. Some of the best food sources of anthocyanins are red grapes, chokeberry, eggplant and, of course, cherries.
These pigments attract pollinators, act as a “sunscreen” and protect the plant from radicals formed by UV light, so they act as antioxidants. The antioxidant benefits are transferred to people when the fruits or vegetables are eaten.

Anthocyanins are also natural pain relievers and anti-inflammatories. They inhibit the production of COX-2 enzymes, as do over the counter and prescription pain relievers. Natural anti-inflammatories are believed to reduce the risk of many types of cancer. But, there are more nutritional benefits of cherries.

Cherries contain melatonin, another natural pain reliever and COX-2 inhibitor. Melatonin also helps to regulate sleep cycles and has been sold as a natural sleep aid. Reduced levels of melatonin have been associated with heart disease and increased cancer rates in night workers. The human body naturally produces melatonin, but primarily in darkness.
Constant artificial lighting present in most homes and work places reduces the amount of melatonin that the body produces. So, one of the health benefits of cherries to modern day man has to do with replacing some of the melatonin that has been lost to artificial light, unhealthy work schedules and unnatural sleep patterns. And, there are more nutritional benefits of cherries.

Cherries, like most fruits, contain vitamin C. The proven and suspected health benefits of cherries and other vitamin C rich foods are too numerous to be covered in this recipe.
Full Recipe


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