It’s been a busy couple of months for DEA students. There have been Fact and Action meetings on Coal Seam Gas and The Tarkine, tree-planting on National Tree Day, an inaugural DEA Sustainability Market in Queensland, as well as lobbying of politicians in person and in writing.
UQ Sustainability Market
On 1 August, DEA QLD held the first Sustainability Market at UQ Ipswich. The aim of the market was to promote sustainable living, particularly since many aspects of sustainable living, such as cycling or growing your own vegetables, are not only good for the environment but also good for your health. We had various stall holders, including the local bike shop, an organic coffee van, our campus book shop selling reusable bags and drink bottles, the local nursery, our University sustainability office, a local organic food store, a stall representing the weekly markets in town where you can buy fresh local produce, and the local community garden – who have away a free hay bale garden kit as a prize! We also had a BBQ with vegie burgers and kangaroo sausages, table tennis, rowing competitions and live music. The day was a lot of fun and surprisingly easy to organise, so we hope to make it an annual event! Official UQ video clip of the market here.
National Tree Day
On Sunday 29 July, people got their hands dirty all across Australia to participate in National Tree Day. This was the second year that DEA students got involved by giving up their Sunday morning to plant trees and represent the medical student population within the community. This year’s Tree Day was a great chance for new and old DEA students to take part, as an official focus of the day was the health benefits of interacting with nature. Planet Ark developed a report in May of this year that outlines these mental and physical health benefits. A full copy of the report, Planting Trees: Just What the Doctor Ordered, can be found here.
DEA students took part in 8 planting events in 5 different states across the country. A total of 90 students took part in the day and managed to plant over 3,100 trees (!). This was a great effort, particularly by the State Representatives who were responsible for organising the participation of students within their state. DEA’s involvement in the event not only had the direct environmental benefit of planting trees that will harness carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but also the benefit of communicating to individuals all around Australia that climate change is a serious health threat and an issue that medical students are committed to engaging with. The event was also a great networking opportunity and chance to re-unite with fellow DEA members. National Tree Day is an event that DEA students look forward to continue supporting in years to come.