We know we're in the throws of winter, but if you’ve noticed it's been particularly mild this year, you’re not alone. Australian temperatures have been surging, with an accompanied rise in carbon dioxide according to a new study from the Climate Change Institute at the Australian National University.
"Human interference in the global climate is now apparent," said the authors of the study. And whilst this is hardly new or shocking information, it seems that our disrespect of the environment is now impacting human health.
In the past 150 years, CO2 levels have risen by 46 per cent, directly resulting in the temperature rise. In that same period, 5332 deaths have occurred as a result of heat exposure, according to SBS.
"Australia's climate is changing. Adaptation is required and, perhaps more importantly, mitigation to avoid the worst of future health burdens," say Dr Hanna and Professor McIver, the chief scientists behind the report.
The comprehensive summary of our dire environmental situation could spur on medical researchers to join the fight against climate change.
Unfortunately, humanity's effects on the environment are not only harming our health through the air either. The World Health Organisation (WHO) is set to conduct a review into the safety of drinking bottled water after a new study of the worlds top brands found that 90 per cent contained microplastics. On average, the study conducted by the State University of NY on behalf of Orb Media, found an average of 325 tiny plastic particles per litre of drinking water.
"The public are obviously going to be concerned about whether this is going to make them sick in the short term and the long term,” said Bruce Gordon of WHO when talking to the BBC.
"When we think about the composition of the plastic, whether there might be toxins in it, to what extent they might carry harmful constituents, what actually the particles might do in the body – there's just not the research there to tell us," said Gordon.
But where is all this pollution and plastic waste coming from? You and I. And while the news looks dire right now, all is not lost. There are changes you can make today that will benefit not only the world, but the health of every other living creature. So get to it, because you may not be the hero that we deserve, but you're the hero that we need.
Get A Reusable Coffee Cup
We hear you guys, your morning coffee is a right of passage. You need it, you want it, and you will have it at all costs. But reducing waste can be as simple as bringing your own cup. We hear you again; most reusable cups are smaller than the traditional take-away options, and are purpose built to match your partner's handbag. Our tip: grab an Upper Cup. They're larger than most, and they also have a masculine design in a sea of feminine-looking products. Which makes a lot more sense, because saving the world is for everyone.
Stop Sucking So Much
Straws are right up there with leaf-blowers as one of human kind's more useless inventions. You don't need a straw to drink anything really, that's what the sides of cups are for. But what about hygiene? I'm going to drop a truth bomb right here; if the rim of your glass is too dirty to drink from, then the inside of your cup that's holding your liquid probably isn't going to be much cleaner. If you need to drink with a straw, get your own reusable one from an environmental marketplace such as Banish.
Get Over Your Bags
Plastic bags are the epitome of single use plastics. You'll use them to carry your groceries home and then... where do they go. Landfill and the ocean. Sad face. Well not if you make the switch to paper bags, or even better, get some cloth ones. Simply keep them by your front door, and remember to grab them on the way out when hitting the shops. Boom. Earth: Saved.
Step It Up
You can reduce your carbon footprint significantly by ditching motorised transport, and walking. It sounds simple, but the impact you'll have on both the environment and your own health with be incredible. Aim for at least 10,000 steps per day, and you'll find that you need to leave the car behind to reach your goal.
Eat Like A Hemsworth
We'll admit, this is a tough one to swallow, but according to recent research, removing meat and dairy from your diet is the quickest and most effective way of reducing your impact on the environment. “A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use,” said Joseph Poore, lead researcher on the project from University of Oxford, UK. “It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car.”
However don't be discouraged. With a rise in ‘vegan bodybuilding’, the benefits of a vegan lifestyle are becoming more apparent when it comes to athletic performance, especially with not one, but two Hemsworths as proof. Yes, even the God of Thunder himself is a vegan, and he's remained HUGE.