Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.
Close Banner
Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

Healthy Planet, Healthy You: November 2023 Climate News To Know

Emma Loewe
Author:
November 22, 2023
Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability + Health Director
By Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability + Health Director
Emma Loewe is the Senior Sustainability Editor at mindbodygreen and the author of "Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us."
Woman dancing in autumn leaves - Healthy Planet Healthy You
Image by Irina Polonina
November 22, 2023
We carefully vet all products and services featured on mindbodygreen using our commerce guidelines. Our selections are never influenced by the commissions earned from our links.
Our series Healthy Planet, Healthy You explores just how tightly human health and environmental health are intertwined—for better and for worse. Each month, we'll share the latest news on how nature can rejuvenate us on one hand and damage our health when it's not cared for on the other. We'll end with timely tips and tools to help you care for your environment so it can care for you.
1.

"Green prescriptions" could be just what the doctor ordered for expecting moms

Given all the research on how getting outside benefits our health, some doctors are now writing "green prescriptions" to encourage patients to spend more time outdoors. But do they work? In a study out of the UK, young pregnant women—who run an increased risk of anxiety and depression—were encouraged to do nature-based activities like forest bathing, gardening, and gentle hiking in small groups. Sure enough, the women reported feeling better and having more social support following these activities. Researchers also noted increases in their self-esteem, suggesting that time socializing in nature might be especially important for this population. (Read the study here1.)

2.

Social media for good: How your feed could help solve the biodiversity crisis

Those bird pictures you post on Instagram aren't just a treat for your followers; the research community wants to take a peek at them, too. New research out of Bangladesh finds that social media photographs of animals can actually be a pretty effective tool for filling in gaps in biodiversity data and mapping out areas of increased conservation importance. "We'd been missing out on the distribution data of hundreds of endangered species in Bangladesh, so this is a big result," study author Shawan Chowdhury, Ph.D., said in a statement. "This could change the way scientists gather biodiversity information in the future, especially in regions where there is a lack of reliable and up-to-date structured monitoring to inform conservation efforts." (Read the research here2.)

3.

Want to help elementary school kids learn? Take them outside

After comparing a class taught in a typical classroom with one taught in an outdoor courtyard, researchers measured the cognitive function of 65 second- and third-graders in Italy. They found that the students had better selective attention and math calculation skills after the outdoor class than the indoor one. Children with higher self-reported emotional difficulties even had statistically significant increases in positive mood after just one lesson. (Read the research here3.)

4.

Heat-related deaths are on the rise and show no signs of slowing

A disturbing new report looked into how global temperature increases correspond with a rise in heat-related deaths. After crunching the numbers, researchers found that heat-related deaths of people older than 65 years have increased by 85% since the 1990s. They went a step further to determine that more than half of these deaths would have occurred were it not for human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. And given that extreme heat is not expected to let up anytime soon, 27% of cities surveyed are now concerned their health care systems won't be able to stand up to these impacts of climate change. (Read the report here4.)

5.

There's no doubt about it: Climate change is already transforming the American way of life

Another sweeping new report, the latest National Climate Assessment, outlines even more ways that climate change is threatening public health in this country. It provides a solid overview of how droughts, food system disruptions, and extreme storms are changing American life, and how to take climate action that strengthens resilience and advances equity. It's a very worthy read, with striking visuals that demonstrate the need for large-scale transformation. (Read the report here.)

Monthly theme: Examination

Resolution season is just around the corner. But before we set goals for the new year, we need to reflect on the one that has passed. Set aside some time in the next few weeks to take stock of how your relationship with the natural world has changed over the last year—reflecting on how many resources you consumed, how you gave back, and any moments of meaningful outdoor connection.

Feel free to think in broad strokes or get more granular with the help of apps or trackers. Two that I'll be using in my reconnaissance are Commons and Nature Dose. Commons is an app that you can sync up with your credit card to get a rough estimate of the carbon impact of your purchases. It also serves up personalized advice to help you reduce your emissions and rewards you for planet-friendly purchases. You can either reap these rewards as cash or donate them to environmental nonprofits or carbon offset projects. Nature Dose, on the other hand, uses your phone's GPS to monitor how much time you spend in green, blue, and altogether natural spaces.

So far, sifting through my 2023 data has shown me that most of my personal emissions come from transportation, so a resolution to take fewer cabs might be in order in the new year. I also spend an outsized amount of time in nature on weekends, so I'm dreaming up how I can incorporate more green me time into my weekdays.

What are the top takeaways from your reflections? Bring them to next month's Healthy Planet, Healthy You, and we'll explore how to use them to set meaningful climate resolutions for the year ahead.

Watch Next

Enjoy some of our favorite clips from classes

Watch Next

Enjoy some of our favorite clips from classes

What Is Meditation?

Mindfulness/Spirituality | Light Watkins

Box Breathing

Mindfulness/Spirituality | Gwen Dittmar

What Breathwork Can Address

Mindfulness/Spirituality | Gwen Dittmar

The 8 Limbs of Yoga - What is Asana?

Yoga | Caley Alyssa

Two Standing Postures to Open Up Tight Hips

Yoga | Caley Alyssa

How Plants Can Optimize Athletic Performance

Nutrition | Rich Roll

What to Eat Before a Workout

Nutrition | Rich Roll

How Ayurveda Helps Us Navigate Modern Life

Nutrition | Sahara Rose

Messages About Love & Relationships

Love & Relationships | Esther Perel

Love Languages

Love & Relationships | Esther Perel

Related Videos (10)

What Is Meditation?

Box Breathing

What Breathwork Can Address

The 8 Limbs of Yoga - What is Asana?

Two Standing Postures to Open Up Tight Hips

How Plants Can Optimize Athletic Performance

What to Eat Before a Workout

How Ayurveda Helps Us Navigate Modern Life

Messages About Love & Relationships

Love Languages

Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

More On This Topic

more Planet
Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.
Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.