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Help the NHS go green

NHS Wales has one of the biggest carbon footprints of all the public sectors in Wales.

We need help from everyone who works in the NHS to reach the goal of a carbon neutral NHS Wales by 2030.


How can you help?


Environmental impacts on health
Direct impacts Indirect impacts

Air pollution is associated with a variety of concerning health impacts including diabetes, lung disease, and negative pregnancy outcomes.

Heat expands the habitat and seasonal duration for creatures like mosquitoes. This increases the likelihood of diseases such as Malaria and Dengue fever.

Climate change, deforestation, and exploitation of wildlife have been identified as factors that increase the likelihood of another pandemic.

Impacts on food and water supplies and rising sea levels are predicted to create up to 1 billion climate refugees by 2050. This will put immense pressure on our already overloaded healthcare system.

Extreme weather events like wildfires and tsunamis come with an immediate risk of death or injury.

The negative outcomes of extreme weather such as smoke, disruption of crop yields, and loss of homes, can all contribute to a person’s long-term risk of infection.

Heat-related deaths in over-65s have doubled in the past 20 years.

Warmer waters encourage the growth of toxic algae, which can damage our water supply.


What is environmentally sustainable healthcare?

Environmentally sustainable healthcare means a healthcare system that avoids damaging our natural environment, whilst remaining affordable and accessible for all.


The following case studies highlight how incorporating sustainable healthcare into our everyday practice is good for patients, NHS staff, and the wider NHS in Wales.



Dealing with eco-distress

Eco distress is not an illness or disorder. It is a normal response to very real and distressing concerns about the environment. If you feel distressing emotions such as anger, sadness or worry when hearing bad news about the environment, you may be experiencing eco-distress.

Here are some tips for coping with eco-distress:

  1. Learn: Learning about the situation, especially from hope-based sources, can help us feel more knowledgeable and empowered.
  2. Take action: No matter how big or small, this is the best way to stop feelings of eco-distress. This could be anything from using a refillable bottle or joining the green group.
  3. Connect with nature: Go for a walk, plant some seeds, or simply spend some time outdoors. This is proven to boost our wellbeing and help us feel closer to our environment.
  4. Express your feelings: Sometimes, letting out feelings by talking to someone, writing, making art, or playing music can help us feel less overwhelmed.
  5. Stay hopeful: This situation is not your fault, and you’re not responsible for changing things by yourself. There are lots of people working to make the world happier and healthier.