Nothing matters more to your family than your children’s health and happiness. We all want our kids to inherit a planet that’s sustainable and thriving, so their futures are full of limitless possibility. Unfortunately, there’s a growing connection between the health of our planet and our own health—especially kids. Generations of fossil fuel use have contributed to the Earth warming up, and studies show that extreme weather events are becoming more common. These changes in the climate are affecting human health in some concerning ways, and we think it’s time to take action. That’s why Seventh Generation is partnering with Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Campaign, which is inspiring cities all across the country to embrace 100% clean, renewable energy solutions like wind and solar that can help us step into a healthier future—together.
Heat Stress on the Rise
As the use of fossil fuels increases, so does the temperature of our planet. We’re seeing longer summer heat waves, more cases of heat-related illness, and more crowded emergency rooms for the thousands forced to seek medical treatment. This shouldn’t be as surprising as it sounds. After all, average global temperatures have been rising since the beginning of the 20th Century, and temperatures are expected to keep going up, with clusters of really hot days projected to become more common. According to the EPA, debilitating heat can lead to dehydration, cramping, exhaustion, breathing difficulties—or worse. Consider how much time our kids spend outside—how much time we encourage them to spend outside! Now think about what it means to have to worry about heat stroke, whether our kids are playing tag in the park, riding bikes to the beach, or running drills at soccer practice.
Families in warm-weather cities like Dallas, Atlanta, and Phoenix are already feeling the impacts as they stare down rising numbers of extremely hot days; however, communities farther north like West Harlem—where there’s already aging infrastructure and a stress on basic services—are also vulnerable and are being affected. In New York City, heat-related illness sends over four hundred people to the hospital every year, and is at least partially responsible for over a hundred deaths annually. Some studies project that the effects of heat-related illness will only grow, which will put unneeded stress on families forced to worry more about their kids’ health and safety. Not to mention that research from the Center for Disease Control shows this health crisis strikes kids, seniors, communities of color, and people living in poverty the hardest.
The good news is that if we work together, we can take positive action. Climate change is a planet-wide problem, but it’s a people-led solution—and it’s something we can all help to tackle. Team up with Seventh Generation and the Sierra Club to tell your mayor to commit to 100 percent clean and renewable energy in your city. 70 cities in the U.S. have already pledged to switch entirely to clean, renewable energy via the Ready for 100 Campaign. Cleaner, cheaper energy is not only possible, it’s already happening—and it can make a big difference to our children’s health and the planet.