The Sustainability Panel at the recent Australian Podiatry Association National conference was an effective launchpad for ‘Green Podiatry’.
The impetus for Green Podiatry comes from the indisputable connection between healthcare and climate change – some 5% of global carbon emissions come from healthcare as an industry, but in Australia, it’s over 7% – the highest in the world.
Carbon pollution is pertinent to every Australian clinician.
Climate change is an existential threat to civilisation, yet health care itself pollutes. So, from a quantitative aspect, health care’s carbon footprint is important, and this pollution burden conflicts with our efforts to do no harm ( https://insightplus.mja.com.au/2021/19/hospital-environmental-sustainability-end-of-the-beginning/ ).
This is an increasing issue for healthcare, as it is for every one of us living and breathing on planet earth – now and in the future.
The effect of too many carbon emissions is global warming, and all the fall outs from that, which impact people’s health.
The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change (tweet, July 2021) stated:
‘If we decarbonise the economy in a way that reduces air pollution, improves diet and increases physical activity we could have a huge beneficial impact on health’
Podiatrists, like all health professionals, have a vital role to play in reducing our own carbon emissions, in modelling good ‘low carbon’ practices, and in advocating for ‘big picture’ health.
Many of the public, our patients, are increasingly motivated by low-carbon lifestyles, and will increasingly be looking for clean & green healthcare providers.
The Sustainability Panel encouraged podiatrists to work and live green.
It is all about – Podiatrists reducing our carbon FOOTPRINTS (pun intended!).
Discussions included speakers from industry and science, medicine and sport, fashion and retail. Across this eclectic space were some common themes:
- a broad ‘health’ message.
You can view the full panel discussion, including the Q&A here: – The Sustainability Panel – APodA 2021 conference recording: https://vimeo.com/575198242/7a574a2871
- Professor Veena Sahajwalla, SMaRT Centre, UNSW
- Dr John Orchard AM, Sports Medicine Physician, University of Sydney
- Shaun Bajada, Australian Sporting Goods Association
- Nick Savaidis, Etiko
Podiatrists reducing our carbon FOOTPRINTS
Evidence Essentials is non-profit, proceeds directed to APERF (Australasian Podiatric Education and Research Foundation) https://www.podiatry.org.au/about/aperf/aperf505
Please keep an eye out for the Evidence Essentials blogs and enjoy the FREE resources https://angelaevanspodiatrists.com.au/category/resources/
Please join the Green Podiatry campaign!
Thank you for reading this Evidence Essentials blog post.
Dr Angela Evans AM
PhD, FFPM RCPS(Glasg)