As the neighbors of Ed Begley Jr. can attest, once you begin paying attention to the impact of your life on the planet, it can provoke more than a little anxiety. I’ve even heard a new term for the obsessive behavior the anxiety can lead to: “carborexia.” While there’s no denying the need for some serious efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, it is easy to be overwhelmed. In this issue of InHealth, we look at the region’s biggest industry — health care. How much does caring for your health impact the environment?
Turns out the health care industry has a voracious appetite for energy and produces a lot of waste. Daniel Walters looks at how Inland Northwest hospitals are finding ways to go green. Who knew Sacred Heart Medical Center features 30,000 points of light — or that now almost all of them are energy-saving compact-fluorescent bulbs?
There’s no denying it requires creative thinking and a willingness to work a little harder to go green. We look at a Coeur d’Alene builder who’s developing a LEED-certified neighborhood for residents 55 and older. In addition to helping the environment, he hopes the homes’ clean indoor air will prove to be healthier for their inhabitants.
We also have an amazing story about a device that could save the lives of people suffering from lung disease — an artificial lung that’s the size of a soda can and worn on the patient’s chest. Jacob Fries investigates.
And Ann M. Colford considers an odd little spice called turmeric that may hold some interesting health benefits.
Even if you’re not ready to go the extra green mile this holiday season, why not take some baby steps? Put old Mother Earth on your gift list and make a pledge to do something for the environment — your environment and your children’s — in 2009.