Celebrating Earth Day 2023 Together
Earth Day 2023 is quickly upon us. The history of Earth Day dates to 1970 when saving, protecting, and awareness of the earth and our environment had yet to be recognized. On April 22, 1970, Senator Gaylord Nelson, after many years of environmental activism, appointed this date as Earth Day. Today, more than five decades later, the celebration continues.
In the mid-1800s, Florence Nightingale recognized the importance of the environment and its positive effects on healing. Nightingale believed the person and their environment were symbiotic. She theorized the need for environmental cleanliness, including the earth’s air, water, and light resources. Nurses are the critical piece linking Earth Day to the Profession of Nursing by promoting the essentials that Nightingale emphasized.
Lisa Ertle, Chair of Healthy Nurse Healthy New Jersey (HNHNJ) and Varsha Singh, Nurse Champion for Climate Change and I have joined forces to recognize Earth Day.
HAPPY EARTH DAY, HEALTHY NJ NURSES!
This year, why not embrace one planet-friendly change in your everyday life? Consider actions such as bringing your own cloth napkin and silverware in your lunch box, using bar soap in your home, investing in a hybrid vehicle (you can receive a tax credit), eating less meat (meat production contributes to greenhouse gases) or remembering to bring your own bags to the store. Switching to dishcloths can replace tons of paper towels. Making your own natural cleaning sprays will reduce waste and save you money. Consider using more earth-friendly products for your lawn, or keep your grass bit higher so that it requires less water. The key is to find that one thing you can do and stick with it. If we all commit to changing something, together we can make a big impact.
Lisa Ertle, BSN, BA, RN and the Healthy Nurse Healthy New Jersey Team
MY EARTH DAY MESSAGE
Nurses are healers and on EARTH Day I request each and every one of you to take a pledge to take care of our environment.
Consider making changes that keep our air, water, earth and climate free of pollutants. Let’s pledge for a clean, green and healthy environment that we want to leave behind for future generation.
Varsha Singh DNP, APN, NEA-BC, FAHA, FAANP
Nurse champion for climate change
EARTH DAY TEAM MESSAGE
Nurses can collaborate in many ways to promote better health outcomes for individuals and communities, while also supporting the sustainability of the planet. Some possible ways that they can work together include:
Greening healthcare facilities: nurses can advocate for and implement sustainable practices in healthcare settings, such as reducing energy consumption, recycling, and using environmentally friendly cleaning products. This can help reduce the carbon footprint of healthcare facilities and promote a healthier environment for patients and staff.
Promoting healthy lifestyles: Nurses can work with patients and communities to promote healthy lifestyles that also benefit the environment, such as encouraging active transportation (e.g., biking or walking) or plant-based diets.
Advocating for environmental policies: nurses can use their influence to advocate for policies that promote environmental health and sustainability, such as reducing air and water pollution or promoting renewable energy sources.
Addressing climate change: nurses can play a role in addressing the health impacts of climate change, such as increased prevalence of respiratory illnesses due to air pollution or the spread of vector-borne diseases.
By collaborating on these and other initiatives, nurses, health professionals, and earth advocates can work towards a healthier and more sustainable future for all.
Follow the link for Earth Day celebrations across NJ.
Have a beautiful day,
Earth Day Team
Sandra Foley, DNP, MSN, RN
Lisa Ertle, BSN, BA, RN
Varsha Singh, DNP, APN, NEA-BC, FAHA, FAANP