Climate change is the biggest global threat with: social – economic – environment impacts Lancet and BMJ
The Global Humanitarian Forum’s Human Impact Report highlights the magnitude of the problem. I find the evidence in this report very chilling. “…every year climate change leaves over 300,000 people dead, 325 million people seriously affected, and economic losses of US$125 billion. Four billion people are vulnerable, and 500 million people are at extreme risk.” Aditionally, the World Health Organisation state that climate change will impact upon the health and wellbeing of all populations, and made Climate Change the focus of its World Health Day 2008. They suggest impacts will include mental health problems such as stress, anxiety and depression in both migrant and receiving populations, increased pressure on infrastructure and resources, and increased risk of violent conduct. In recent years in the UK, we’ve already seen, increased coastal flooding and flash floods that have caused injury and death, social disruption and psychological stress for whole communities. These occurences are predicted to increase. Clearly the future and health of our society will be shaped by the effects of climate change and occupational therapy will need to evolve to ensure its relevance in the context of the inevitable upheavable.
In January 2009 NHS Sustainable Development Unit was set up Since April 2010 NHS commitment to 80% reduction by 2050 they published a Carbon Reduction Strategy for the NHS: Saving Carbon, Improving Health. This outlines how addressing climate change is core to a “healthy, just and fair society.”
This is the Carbon Footprint of NHS England in 2008 . Have a think about what you think the three different areas may represent. 18% is travel (patient, visitors and staff) 22% is building energy use (heating, hot water and electricity) and 60% is procurement (supply chain activities of companies producing goods and services for the NHS, including waste). So even if all NHS buildings were zero carbon, we would still only reduce the total footprint by 22%!
This is useful and obviously wise, but for practitioners of SD , it’s vital to see SD as a process. (go to next slide) Note ‘WCED’ stands for World Commission on Environment and Development (1987): The Bruntland Report.
Part of the value of SD for OT is its process of gestalt, or the way it works to reintegrate our world view, to help us understand the need to be mindful of the fact that these three key areas of our experience don’t exist in isolation. SD attempts to balance out our lives again, showing equal regard to society, economy and environment. As Ben will talk about later, as we’ve become more industrialised, we have become increasingly detached from our environment . And this has impacted not only on the environment but on us as individuals. Rosack has the following to say about this vision ( reveal next slide )
Interventions should enable individuals to benefit from this connection OT’s ideally placed because of the holistic nature of our work and the type of work we do
And by meaningful we have to now begin to see things in a much more global and holistic way. Sustainable occupations and therapeutic activities that connect people with the environment – spirituality So what can we do?
“… every year climate change leaves over 300,000 people dead, 325 million people seriously affected, and economic losses of US$125 billion. Four billion people are vulnerable, and 500 million people are at extreme risk.” (GHF 2009, p.1)
Being a greener OT – things OTs can do! Using bikes to get to work Lobbying work places to support biking to work schemes Using public transport more for visits Try to group visits particularly when working in rural areas. ? Try to visit with colleagues Join greener OT Car sharing Video conferencing Having a work pool bike Lobbying employment services to ensure they are looking at sustainable careers for people with LD Lobbying work places to consider heating arrangement e.g. Not having central control of heating systems Trying to reduce the number of out of area placements Using electronic records Using smart boards to project minutes at meetings so everyone does not have to have a copy More effective use of virtual working groups Smarter printing e.g. Printing at half the size and double siding copying
Supporting service users to be green– things OT’s can do! Supporting local projects such as BTCV Green gym Teaching service users to take responsibility for the environment – teaching them about green issues Encourage service users to buy greener products Supporting people to do sustainable occupations such as having a vegetable patch Start local projects in residential homes – many homes have large gardens, invite local people to use some of the land to group produce and encourage them to teach people with LD how to grow Encourage service users to compose things Run eco education groups Develop an audit tool that service users could use to see how green their house is Drift wood projects – picking up litter and using for art projects Recycling projects Continence promotion to reduce the amount of pads used Walking bus or providing a member of staff who sits on a public bus which service users catch to day services rather than putting on transport Help people make informed decisions about getting a taxi verses a bus Health promotion groups to include ‘green’ education