Protect Your Health
Walking through the mall the other day I came across an ad campaign that advertised: “Protect Your Wealth.” The first thing that came to my mind was, “of course!” As I continued to walk I started thinking about what that campaign meant, and how my awareness shifted when face-to-face with the message. Then it hit me – what about protecting our health? What about being proactive and not waiting until you’re face-to-face with a health challenge before you take action to protect your health?
Let me set the tone – sustainability, climate change, and integrated vegetation were not topics I discussed at the office, with my friends, or even my partner. I was evaluating my traditional office environment and resigned from it because my mindset had shifted. As my curiosity increased so too did my awareness of these topics: I wanted to know more. The people that know me wouldn’t see e as a radical, hippy, or activist, yet I know climate change exists. I eat organic food and live as organically as possible. I stand tall for women’s rights. I am the voice for those who suffer in silence. To clarify, I know that we don’t need to be fanatical, radical, or extreme to have an impact. Simply put, awareness backed with action is power!
I started noticing things I didn’t before and because of my new found awareness. I started making small shifts that I somehow knew were necessary for the sustainability of my family’s health as well as my own. As priorities shifted, my knowledge increased. I came to an embarrassing moment of not knowing how all of this information could have slipped right by me this whole time.
Some of the ways you can protect your health are obvious and others, though right in front of you, are not as clear. The choices we make in our diet, exercise, and social connectivity are all daily practices yet there are other things we need to look at to protect against health concerns. What about our environment? The homes we choose to build or buy, the buildings we work in, or our children’s classrooms. Are you sure you’re aware of all of the potential health concerns along with the steps you can take to reduce risk?
There are ways you can be a more cautious consumer. Educate yourself on the potential hazards, do the research, and buy with intention. Make choices that will benefit you in both the long and short term.
In the past, many buildings were constructed without proper ventilation. Studies have found that poorly ventilated buildings – or “sick building syndrome” – result in respiratory illnesses, and lowered concentration and productivity for occupants. Because of this research, buildings are now being designed with fresh air ventilation systems. When choosing the condo building you want to live in, the materials and systems for building your home, and even the buildings you shop in, you can protect your health. It’s up to you and you do have a choice. What if you don’t know what to look for?
We recently published an article on Baltimore’s new city-wide green buildings standards which mandate a minimum Silver LEED Certification on all new commercial construction. Is your building a LEED certified building or is it built to LEED-equivalency standards? Whether you find value in LEED certification or not, the Council uses data and guidelines to design and construct better buildings. Buildings that work with the environment instead of against it.
Choosing the building you work in may be a bit more difficult however, there are changes that can be made to ensure cleaner air which mitigates the Urban Heat Island Effect.
What’s Your Part
Why wait until a point in our life when you wake up to a health scare or until someone you know gets sick or faces a health challenge? Why wait when you can make a 1% shift in your thinking about where you shop, what you eat, or the products you use to build your home? What price do you put on your health? What’s your ROI on educating yourself about important health factors? If you put health before profit you will inevitably be protecting your wealth. It’s the triple bottom line approach to health: social, economic, and environmental.
My personal lesson has been to stay curious. Seek out ways to make a difference. Watch for it, and take the time to investigate and dig deeper. Your passion and care will show through and in turn will educate and inspire others to do the same. Ask the questions and become more aware of hot topics. Investigate the reasons why the questions keep coming up, and protect your health. Educate yourself and if you don’t have time then contact us with your questions and we will find the answer for you!