Grey Bruce Public Health will be joining residents, businesses, organizations, and municipalities around the world in celebrating Earth Day on April 22, 2023.
The global awareness event, held annually since 1970, aims to raise awareness of environmental issues and call on everyone to do their part to protect the planet and advance climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.
Climate change will create higher risks of extreme weather events, floods, heatwaves, wildfires, vector-borne diseases, such as Lyme disease, and more. Climate change also has indirect impacts, such as on food security, mental health, and safe drinking water.
“Climate change is an urgent public health issue – one that poses risks to the physical, mental, and social health and well-being of Grey-Bruce residents. These health impacts almost always disproportionally affect the most vulnerable members of our communities, including people experiencing poverty, older adults, children, and Indigenous residents,” says GBPH Physician Consultant Dr. Rim Zayed.
“One of Public Health’s top priorities is to help educate the public about the physical and mental health impacts of climate change and collaborate with municipal, community, and other partners on climate action that protects the health and well-being of everyone.”
Dr. Zayed adds that Public Health Units play an essential role in supporting climate change adaptation plans through their work in promoting health and well-being in the communities they serve and their ability to analyze, track, and respond to emerging public health issues.
This Earth Day, GBPH staff will be attending a Climate Fair at the Owen Sound Farmers’ Market from 2 to 5 p.m. The event is intended to help residents to recognize the importance of local climate action and learn about the many opportunities to get involved.
Public Health will also be using its social media platforms to encourage residents and municipalities to engage in climate mitigation and adaptation work that benefits and involves all members of the community.
Public Health is engaged in action to counter the health impacts and disparities of climate change.
GBPH works collaboratively to advance public health action in a changing climate to address the threat by:
- Making information about climate change more widely available;
- Encouraging healthy public policies, such as those related to built environments and reducing food waste;
- Working on plans that ensure the long-term health and resilience of the natural environment;
- Addressing the effects of climate change on the health of Grey-Bruce residents by tracking key health indicators that may signal the effects of climate change on public health;
- Supporting equity-deserving populations disproportionately affected by climate change.