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Growing an Eco Revolution for Healthy Aging: Are you an Eco Ager?



Just another day in the life of our climate-changing world; increased frequency of extreme weather events like droughts, mega-fires, and tornadoes traveling over 150 miles, to name a few.


I got up three hours early to finish my work by early afternoon; here in California, today begins an unprecedented heatwave. This week, I have declared a 'heat holiday' as optimism feeds resiliency and lessons guilt when I can no longer focus because the heat has melted my brain, and I have to soak in the river, or nowadays, the creek.


Earth Week

April 16-22, 1970


"This planet is threatened with destruction

and we who live in it, with death.

The heavens reek.

The water is below a foul.

Children die in infancy.

And we, and the world,

which is our home,

live on the brink of nuclear annihilation

We are in a crisis of survival.

This is a CBS News Special.

Earth Day

A question of survival.

With CBS News correspondent Walter Cronkite.


By one measurement Earth Day failed.

It did not unite.

It did attract that broad cross-section of America

that sponsors water, not wine.

Its demonstrators were predominately young,

predominately white,

predominately anti-Nixon,

how often its protest appeared frivolous.

Its protesters curiously carefree.

Yet the gravity of the message of Earth Day

still came through, act or die."

-Walter Cronkite, 1970

CBS News Special Report


Fast Forward 52 Years:


"Healthy aging and healthy longevity for most people- now and in the future- will not be possible without a healthy planet."

- The UN Decade of Healthy Aging in a Climate-Changing World, 2022




Imagine All Generations Uniting


Elders for Climate Action is doing just that and initiating policy changes that protect all of us, including our most vulnerable neighbors.


Younger generations cannot do this alone.


According to an international survey of young people aged 16-25, nearly 60% of youth experience severe climate anxiety, also known as 'eco-anxiety.' The survey reported young people feel betrayed and abandoned by governments and adults and feel "humanity is doomed."


Eco Agers Unite!


"I shouldn't be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet, you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you?"

- Greta Thunberg

UN Climate Change Summit

New York, September 2019.


The number of people worldwide over the age of 60 will more than double in the next three decades, from 1.1 billion (2021) to 2.1 billion (2050).


I am one of those 2.1 billion, turning 60 in 2036, and I rather relish the idea of a healthy planet!


Older adults are agents of change in climate action and social transformation! We currently have a robust and untapped resource of older adults, 1.1 billion of them!


Young people are feeling abandoned when it comes to climate action. Fifty-two years ago, young people were trailblazing a climate movement at the first Earth Day- those same first earth-day protesters are in their 60s-70s today.


"Old man, look at my life

I'm a lot like you were

Old man, look at my life

I'm a lot like you were"

- Neil Young, 1972


Interestingly, a surefire way to combat ageism is through intergenerational impact collaboration forming community and global change—generations working collectively toward a shared goal: A Healthy Planet for All.


Research shows when young people know that other young people have positive relationships with older adults, they become less ageist. And older adults can also be ageist against their own generation- what would happen if we could end ageism together while solving our most pressing issue- human survival on planet earth?


Greta Thunberg's Fridays for Future meet Elders for Climate Action.


We are impenetrable united and one step closer to growing the eco revolution with age integration.


Eco Agers Value:


1) Connection with Nature

2) Work (paid and non-paid) that gives not only meaning and purpose but contributes to ensuring a healthy planet for all

3) Mutual Dependency: We are all interconnected, we need each other, we are a whole community

4) Growth and Transformation

5) Age-Integration

6) Nature-based solutions


Opportunities for eco-conscious growth and transformation are plenty in all sectors, from healthcare to hospitality. Agri-tourism, farm-to-table restaurants, green care and care farming, eco-schools and ecopreneurs, eco-conscious living, learning, and earning are paving the way for healthy aging.


Are you an Eco Ager?

Are you ready to join the Eco Revolution?


I am. For current and future generations, I hope you are too.


With Gratitude,

Monica Eastway

Eco Gerontologist

Mover, Shaker, and Change-maker


References


CEO Magazine. (2020, April 29). Ecopreneurs are the green pioneers saving the planet.

https://www.theceomagazine.com/business/start-ups-entrepreneurs/ecopreneurs/


Drury, L., Hutchison, P., & Abrams, D. (2016). Direct and extended intergenerational contact and young people's attitudes towards older adults. British Journal of Social Psychology, 55(3), 522-543. https://bpspsychub.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/bjso.12146


Earth Week (1970, April 22). Earth Day 1970 Part 1: Intro (CBS News with Walter Cronkite). [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbwC281uzUs&t=47s


Gregory, A. (2021, October 6). ‘Eco-anxiety’: fear of environmental doom weighs on young people. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/oct/06/eco-anxiety-fear-of-environmental-doom-weighs-on-young-people


Pan American Health Organization. The UN decade of healthy ageing in a climate-changing world. https://www.paho.org/en/documents/decade-healthy-ageing-2021-2030-climate-changing-world




Eco Possibilities!

From Farming to Furniture!


Eco-Schools- “Eco-Schools is a growing phenomenon, which encourages young people to engage in their environment by allowing them the opportunity to actively protect it.”

Visit their website at: https://www.ecoschools.global


Freight Farms- “Move Farms, Not Food”

Visit their website at: https://www.freightfarms.com


OI Studio: “BOA’s design aesthetic is an intersection of her reverence for nature, minimalism, and fine craftsmanship.”

Visit her website: https://www.oistudio.com/about-us







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