Over one quarter of the West Midlands population believe climate change is the biggest crisis facing humanity today – but many are ‘confused’ about how they can help.
In a poll of 2,000 adults, 45 per cent of those in the West Midlands admitted they are worried about their health due to the impact of climate change.
A further 46 per cent are concerned about the amount of chemicals in medicines.
Therefore, four in 10 would consider using complementary and alternative medicine if they thought it could conserve energy and protect the environment and 68 per cent would contemplate using homeopathy.
As well as 50 per cent feeling confused about how they can help, other top feelings around the issue were found to be ‘anxious’, ‘powerless’ and ‘fearful’.
And just nine per cent feel ‘ready’ for the change.
The study was commissioned by The School of Homeopathy to focus on climate change being the biggest health issue facing the planet today.
Mani Norland, Principal of The School of Homeopathy, said: “With the threat of climate change ever more present, there is a growing impetus for businesses to clean up their act.
“And when it comes to staying healthy, this survey shows there’s a real desire for change and safer and more natural options.
“The School of Homeopathy has been educating about this gentle and sustainable system of medicine for nearly 40 years and we believe it has an important role to play in a healthy and low-carbon future.”
“It is not about one form of medicine being better than the other, it is about choosing natural and sustainable options as a ‘first port of call’ when it makes sense, and ‘saving’ chemical medicines that are more costly and polluting for when they are really needed – this approach would also help with things like anti-microbial resistance.”
The research also found human behaviour was blamed more than fossil fuels and meat farming as the factor which affects climate change the most.
Over one third of those living in the West Midlands believe over-population has an impact, leading to 36 per cent admitting they would avoid having more than three children, while one in 10 would give up having kids altogether.
With eight in 10 believing in climate change and 84 per cent describing the matter as personally important to them, the topic has never been more significant.
The study found 77 per cent think the government need to take the lead and do more to help.
A further four in five said the nation needs educating more on what they can do to help and 47 per cent believe this is a barrier to solving the matter.
Other obstacles to resolving climate change were found to be the lack of government plans, unwillingness to change and a lack of investment in renewable energy.
Further areas those in the West Midlands are prepared to change include 38 per cent happily giving up their diesel car and two in 10 are prepared to swap their current vehicle for an electric one in the ‘near future’.
Over one quarter of those polled via OnePoll would banish flying for business and one in 10 are prepared to avoid flying for pleasure.
And six in 10 would willingly stop using plastic packaging and bags, and 40 per cent would stop charging equipment over night, such as phones and televisions.
When it comes to meat eaters in the West Midlands, 73 per cent would be happy to reduce or give up consuming red meat.
While the nation seems happy with the idea of changing their lifestyles, cost is clearly a large factor, as 44 per cent said they would only consider solar electricity panels if they were government funded.
The top ways the public believe funds should be used to help the environment include taxing the dirtiest industries and creating a climate change tax.
Over half also think the authorities should invest more in green energy, 46 per cent believe they should subsidise more home green initiatives and 36 per cent felt that the government should put climate change at the top of the agenda.
Highlighting the results of climate change in the present day, one in 10 of those polled know someone who has been affected by an extreme weather event – with over one quarter of these being flooding.
Mani Norland added: “We commissioned this research because we wanted to do more to help raise awareness, as educators in natural medicine, we have a passion for health and the biggest health risk to humans today is climate change.
“The study shows we are at the brink of real change – David Attenborough has been publicising climate change on the BBC, school children have taken to the streets calling for government action, we’ve seen protests in London and major cities around the world – and this report clearly shows people are ready to make a change but want the government to take the lead.
“The government needs to create a clear plan of action for industry, business, communities and people.
“We need more green taxes, more renewables, farming reformation, fewer CO2 emissions – but what can people at home do, right now, to make a difference? What are the everyday changes we can all make?
“With this in mind, The School of Homeopathy has created a list of 20 things (hyperlink – https://www.homeopathyschool.com/healthyplanet ) people can do to feel empowered and engaged.
The School of Homeopathy – 20 things we can do now:
- Cut down on meat, especially beef and lamb. Make meat a special treat.
- Shop local – buy food that is in season and produced locally (avoid air freighted products).
- Say No to unnecessary plastic packaging by selecting loose items and reusing shopping bags.
- Avoid products containing palm oil – it’s in around half of all products in the supermarket.
- Consume less – buy smart and buy less. Make things last. Eat all your bought food.
- Reduce, recycle and reuse everything you can. Change your mindset. Carry your own water bottle. Use rechargeable batteries.
- Switch to a green energy supplier.
- Use less energy, turn the heating down, don’t over-fill the kettle or leave the tap running.
- Wash at low temperatures, hang clothes out to dry (don’t tumble dry).
- Turn off appliances and chargers overnight – don’t leave on standby.
- Move your money to an ethical bank that doesn’t invest in fossil fuels.
- Insulate your home better (double glazing, draught excluders, loft lagging).
- Install solar panels.
- Buy an electric or hybrid car when you can.
- Drive less, walk more, work from home, get a bike, use the bus, car share.
- Fly less, have more UK holidays.
- Grow your own veg.
- Re-wild your garden and local community – plant some trees, encourage insects and wildlife.
- Consider using natural systems of medicine to promote healthy people and a healthy planet.
- Write to your MP to ask them what the Government is doing to protect the planet.
Take the Healthy Planet Healthy People Survey yourself here: https://www.schoolofhealth.com/survey
Read the School’s perspective on the results: https://www.homeopathyschool.com/healthyplanet