Thursday, April 21, 2022

Building a Healthy World

Image Credit: NASA. Taken from Emergence Magazine: Ten Love Letters to the Earth by Thich Nhất Hanh.

In honor of Earth Day this week, we would like to share with you our passion for creating healthy, equitable, and community-centered design. In our practice areas (Multifamily, Commercial, Interiors, and Public Art) we approach every project with this care and sensitivity.

This stems from one of our core beliefs that a healthy, sustainable world is possible. As design professionals, it is our job to ensure that the spaces we live, work, and play support our health. Organizations like the Healthy Building Network are raising their voice and partnering with communities to advocate for a built environment in which all people are free of chemicals that harm us. To make spaces where we breathe easy, think clearly, and feel more creative requires research and community buy-in.

According to the HBN, of roughly 85,000 chemicals available in the market, few are adequately tested for human health impacts. Hazardous chemicals are widespread and can be found in our water, air, food, and products we use every day. These chemicals migrate into our bodies, our children’s bodies, and our pets and wildlife, costing us our health, the loss of millions of IQ points, and contributing to climate change.

We know that making positive change takes time, but always begins with this one step. This Earth Day, take a step to protect our environment and build a healthier world — whether this be by composting, recycling, repurposing, carpooling, or choosing metal straws over plastic ones (to save the turtles, of course!). Visit recreation.gov and explore ways you can help protect our federal public lands and waters.

Bonus: Take a look at Emergence Magazine's tribute to Thich Nhất Hanh (affectionately called Thầy, or "Teacher") in his Ten Love Letters to the Earth; link here. Nhất Hanh recently passed in January of this year, whom we remember in our "way of breathing and walking."

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