Your Health Unlocked Episodes

043: Public Health and the Environmental Harms of Extractive Capitalism with Kelley Dennings

Publication Date: April 18, 2024

By: Rachel Grimsley, (RN, BSN, MSN) Volunteer Health Officer

Episode Trailer

Discover the hidden connections between our planet’s health and our own. The current environmental crisis isn’t limited to melting ice caps and deforestation, it’s much more. It’s about the air we breathe, the food we eat, and our daily choices that have a ripple effect on our health, rights, and economy. Now, imagine a world where plastic is not only a threat to oceans but also women’s health. A world where our food choices impact the planet’s well-being, and our economic systems are potentially speeding up our destruction. Disturbingly, chemicals from everyday products are posing health risks. However, the solution is within reach. It lies in making informed, eco-friendly choices. But where to start? Here’s your opportunity to understand the connection between environmental health, reproductive rights, and sustainable living with help from Kelley Dennings, an advocate for connecting environmental and reproductive health. 

In this episode, you’ll learn:  

  • How environmental health, reproductive rights, and gender equity can challenge a growth-centric economy 
  • The link between plastic pollution and women’s health 
  • The environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet 
  • The potential of alternative economic models like well-being economies, steady state economies, and solidarity economies to redefine sustainability 
  • The need for both personal actions and systemic change in environmental activism 

More about Kelley:

Kelley Dennings is a campaigner with the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity where she develops and executes advocacy and outreach initiatives that address the connections between reproductive health, gender equity, endless growth and the climate and extinction crises. Her campaigns focus on rights-based solutions from voluntary family planning to the solidarity economy to address how the effects of patriarchy, capitalism and other systems of oppression affect people and the environment. She holds a bachelor’s degree in natural resources from N.C. State and a master’s degree in public health from the University of South Florida.

Resources for Episode 043:

Visit the Center for Biological Diversity to learn more about what you can do to help our environment and our health 

Read the report: The Influence of Environmental Toxicity, Inequity and Capitalism on Reproductive Health ( 

Follow Kelley on Twitter  

Buy your own Endangered Species Condoms to help support endangered species and practice mindful family planning 

A Beginners Guide to a Plant-Based Diet 

Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) | Endocrine Society 

Microplastics ( 

The primary purpose of this podcast is to educate and entertain. All views expressed by the persons featured on the Your Health Unlocked podcast are their own and do not reflect the opinions of the NWHN or its affiliates. Information provided in this podcast does not constitute medical advice. Consult your own provider for any medical issues that you may be experiencing.

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