Take a second and think about all the things around you. The wind blowing by, the sun shining down, the people that you know, the vegetables in your kitchen, the bus you ride to school or work – everything you encounter is part of your environment. We think of the environment as the sky, the sea and everything green, but it is much more than that.
Plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, creating the clean air you breathe. Bacteria and insects break down organic materials to produce soil and nutrients to allow plants to grow. The birds and the bees pollinate these plants so they can continue to serve us. Not only do we need plants for clean air, but we also need them for our own nutritional needs.
The importance of nature does not stop there. The gifts from our environment have provided humans with raw materials to create shelter for themselves as well as tools and medicine.
The medicine nature provides has helped cure many diseases, including certain cancers. It is shown that around 40 percent of all prescriptions in the United States are created from natural compounds found in plants, microorganisms, and animals.
But how much does our population today know about the importance of our environment? Most of us spend numerous hours sitting in an office or a classroom, or in a virtual world. With this indoor lifestyle, we don't expose ourselves to the wonders of nature and don't always understand how the environment impacts our lives every day.
Your relationship with the environment is a two-way street. If you want the environment to take care of you and keep you healthy, you have to take care of it. A healthy environment leads to a healthier population and a better quality of life.
By participating in acts that are good for the environment, you are helping yourself to cleaner water, cleaner air, and chemical free food. Learning about the world around you and about how you impact it everyday will help you become a more thoughtful and helpful citizen of the world
Taking care of the environment is important for your health now and in the future. In this section you will find information on the environment and tips about how you can help to make our earth a cleaner, healthier place for you, your family, and your friends.
The 3 Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Find out how you can save our planet in every aspect of your life: from choosing the right school supplies to taking the bus to work.
Your Environment, Your Health
How is your body affected by the things that you put in it and on it? How is the environment affected by the health decisions you make?
Food & The Environment
Read about how you can recycle food and make healthy food choices that are both better for your body and for the environment.
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Written By: Christina Hartje-Dunn,
college student writer
Revised By: Gergana Mishkova,
public health education intern
Reviewed By: Nancy Brown, Ph.D.
Last Reviewed: October 2013
Below are links PAMF accessed when researching this topic. PAMF does not sponsor or endorse any of these sites, nor does PAMF guarantee the accuracy of the information contained on them.
Why Teach Environmental Education, American Forest Foundation.