What can I do?
I recently came across this chart from the World Health Organisation (in their Environmentally sustainable health systems: a strategic document), and it got me thinking… what can I do? When thinking about an issue as vast as the climate emergency, it’s easy to get stuck on all the ways you are powerless. I can’t ensure that procurement within my trust is sustainable. In terms of minimising waste (thinking specifically about PPE here), I can only do so much within the confines of what my trust policy states I must wear and dispose of after every visit. But what about the circles above that I can control… that I can have some say over?
As a Speech and Language Therapist, I promote disease prevention every time I implement dysphagia guidelines that reduce the risk of aspiration, in turn reducing the risk of chest infections and subsequent antibiotic use, carbon-intensive hospital admissions, etc etc.. Every time I decide to work from home because it’s less miles to drive to my visit from here, or I do my visit virtually, I’m reducing emissions of air pollution.
Let’s focus on the things we can do, the things we’re already doing. Let’s strive to do them more, and do them more sustainably.
So, what can you do?