Moire Yue is a third year physical therapy student at Emory, and is expecting to graduate from the PT program in May. Originally from the Twin Cities, Minnesota, she is the youngest of 5 children and graduated from Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL) before attending Emory. She loves the outdoors, music, and the smell of freshly brewed coffee (who doesn’t?). Post-graduation, she hopes to move westward to a city (yet TBD) and work in an acute-care or rehab setting.
What does being “green” mean to you?
To me, being green = living green. It means being informed about how human behaviors affect the environment, both positively and negatively, and how the environment shapes human behavior. It also means making conscious decisions to not only maintain but also enhance environmental health. Perhaps we can go further and say that “living green” is a manifestation of the symbiotic relationship between humans and the environment (including animals!) – that the two can reinforce one another reciprocally throughout lifespan. Hey, it’s not easy being green!
What do you do at work to support sustainability?
Although I have a car in Atlanta, I take the shuttle to Emory’s campus on a daily basis. On some days, I bike or walk to school, which gives me time in the day to enjoy nature while adding more physical activity to my day. I’m fortunate to be at Emory that supports recycling and composting so diligently. I avidly recycle while I’m on campus and encourage others to do the same if I see them about to throw something in the trash that could be recycled.
What do you do at home?
My condominium complex has recycling, which is a great because other complexes in Atlanta do not have that luxury. I would ideally have a compost bin in my backyard, but that isn’t an option for me currently. To accommodate, I keep a compost bin in my kitchen and bring it at the end of the week to Emory’s composting bins. I pack lunches in Tupperware and try to minimize my use of plastic bags, tin foil, or plastic wrap. If I must, I will use the latter three and reuse them within reason.
What do you think our “next steps” should be to promote sustainability in physical therapy?
There is a PT office in Portland called “PedalPT” which developed sustainable office practices, such as having 100% paperless charting, installing plenty of bike-parking, and partnering with community organizations. They believe sustainability in their practice is achieved by emphasizing three key points: “(1) The health, viability and regenerative qualities of the human body and mind; (2) The health of the environment of the neighborhood, city, and planet we inhabit; and 3) The health, efficiency, and core values of their business.”
I think our next steps are to deepen the emphasis on whole body health in two ways: (1) focusing on the role movement plays in human behavioral interactions with the environment; and (2) addressing how the mind influences this human behavior. With this in mind, participation at the community level for patients becomes significantly important. The environment is part of the community, and what better way for people to understand the relationship between humans and their environment than through tangible experiences?
The physical therapy field is also growing towards preventative healthcare. If we are to continue down that path, we must highly emphasize education – about our bodies, our minds, and the fascinating world out there. To make our education sustainable, we must study the needs of our patients, so we can deliver the education in a way that allows patients to flourish within their specific community – with the ultimate goal of empowering people to pass down education and human behavioral practices for generations.