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How Concerned Should We Be For The Future Of The Planet?

Emma Loewe
September 7, 2017
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."
Photo by Marko Milovanović
September 7, 2017

Make no mistake about it: We can't be truly healthy if our planet is sick. And unfortunately, from where we're sitting, the strength and vitality of the ground beneath our feet have taken a beating this past year. In America, our president voted to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement, our national parks are in danger, and the federal organization protecting our lands is under attack. And across the world, temperatures continue to rise as storm surges and extreme weather events threaten some of our most pristine landscapes.

Here at mbg, we're getting ready for revitalize 2017, where the top wellness leaders of today will come together to discuss all things health. And given the state of our world, this year we'll be shifting gears to discuss how we can take care of our outer landscapes as well as our inner ones.

There's no telling what the future holds for the environment, and we can't pretend to have answers. What we can say with absolute certainty is that some of the most brilliant minds of today are working tirelessly toward a brighter future. Climate change is the most important issue of our time, and as such it has garnered the attention of scientists and athletes, executives and artists, citizens across ideologies and party lines, leaders young and old. It requires every one of us to become our own activists, to make sustainable shifts in our own lives and encourage everyone around us to do the same. We'll be exploring how to do all of this and more on the revitalize main stage this year, and you can tune in from the comfort of your own home. Before you do, here's a primer on the issues our world is facing and what people are doing in response.

Why should you care about the environment?

Here at mbg, we know that nature plays a vital role in all of our wellness journeys, whether you're someone who takes long summer runs outside or goes on hikes to clear the mind. It also influences our health in more palpable ways, with the latest research showing that climate change can aggravate pre-existing conditions like asthma, negatively affect our mental health, and threaten our nutrition. Earlier this summer, one particularly disquieting article in New York Magazine—which has since become one of the most talked-about climate narratives of all time—said that warming temperatures could brew an uninhabitable Earth in our lifetimes.

And yet, even with projections as paralyzing as these, a lot of us still have trouble springing into action. This standstill is actually ingrained in our psychology, as humans are programmed to underestimate their ability to take on such an overwhelming issue. In the end, though, we all need to remember individual action is the driver of all real change.

What is the future of sustainability?

This massive problem is inspiring equally substantive solutions. mbg has spoken to a food waste activist turning old bread into beer, a family of adventurers demystifying our underwater landscapes, an executive changing the way we fly for the better, and an innovator turning trash into clothes—and that's all in the past month. That's what makes the sustainability field such an exciting one: It presents so much space for people to get creative and turn their individual expertise into solutions. We see a future rife with even more innovation and ingenuity. We also see the wellness world continuing to lead the movement with products that are as good for our bodies as they are for the planet. It's a daunting time, but it's an exciting one too.

Have questions? We've got answers.

mbg is thrilled to announce that Paul Hawken, a leading environmentalist who has formed one of the most comprehensive plans for combating climate change to date, will be speaking at this year's revitalize event. Hawken has spent his career partnering with businesses, NGOs, and activists to implement sweeping sustainable change. Along the way, he's written multiple best-sellers, received six honorary degrees, and kick-started environmentally minded companies around the world. And this weekend, he's sharing his insights with us. Tune in to find out exactly what you can do to join the environmental movement and enjoy the rest of our coverage on all things food, fitness, and functional medicine from the Arizona desert.

Be sure to come to Saturday, September 9, at 9 a.m. PDT/12 p.m. EDT, to watch our livestream, presented by INFINITI, and follow #mbgrevitalize on social! If you have questions about sustainability and the future of the planet, email them to We'll be selecting some of them to be featured in the talk!

Emma Loewe author page.
Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability + Health Director

Emma Loewe is the Sustainability and Health Director at mindbodygreen and the author of Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us. She is also the co-author of The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care, which she wrote alongside Lindsay Kellner.

Emma received her B.A. in Environmental Science & Policy with a specialty in environmental communications from Duke University. In addition to penning over 1,000 mbg articles on topics from the water crisis in California to the rise of urban beekeeping, her work has appeared on Grist, Bloomberg News, Bustle, and Forbes. She's spoken about the intersection of self-care and sustainability on podcasts and live events alongside environmental thought leaders like Marci Zaroff, Gay Browne, and Summer Rayne Oakes.