Taking action in our day to day lives

It can be hard to know how to discuss climate and health with colleagues and patients.

Climate Outreach have several excellent resources. Their Talking Climate Handbook has excellent tips on climate conversations. This advice uses the mnemonic REAL TALK:

Green gym participants in a field with spades
“Green Gym” participants from The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Climate Outreach have also recently released a guide to talking about the climate crisis in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The FrameWorks Institute also has a brief guide to framing these discussions. A key message is to be sensitive to whether those you are talking to have the capacity at the current moment to engage with discussions around the climate crisis.

A useful discussion in the healthcare setting could focus on the co-benefits of climate action for health. These are changes in lifestyle or behaviour which benefit both our own health and the environment. Some good examples include:

  • Active transport (e.g. walking and cycling)
  • Low emission public transport
  • Eating less red and processed meat 
  • Spending time in nature (e.g. green walks, growing food locally)
  • Improving housing insulation

See ‘Why are we doing this?’ for further information on these issues.

We are working on specialty-specific resources for doctors with tips for discussing climate action, and will add the links here when they’re ready. If you’d like to contribute or have feedback please get in touch.

Recycling on the wards as part of a green champions netowrk
Recycling on the wards as part of a green champions network