Your overall well-being is closely tied to the health of your environment, whether that is at home or at work. It is called environmental wellness and
taking good care of yourself within a healthy surrounding will help you enjoy a more balanced life.
What exactly is environmental wellness? It is living a healthy daily life in pleasant and inspiring environments that support your personal well-being. It is also maintaining a way of life that maximizes harmony with the earth and minimizes harm to the environment. Think of a cluttered office at work, a desk piled with papers and folders, no pictures on the walls, and a full garbage can. This space needs an environmental wellness makeover.
How can we improve our environmental wellness at the workplace? It can start with the little things we do every day and evolve into influencing your organization to have sustainable and socially responsible policies and practices.’
- From dingy to delighted. A coat of paint is inexpensive, takes little time to do, and makes a big difference. Pick a color and change the walls in your environment. Which one sounds good to you? Orange = energy. Yellow = happiness. Green = new beginnings. Blue = calm. If you can’t paint your walls, consider removable wall art that is bright and inspiring.
- Save energy. Turn off the lights in the copy room or your office when you are done. And ask if restrooms can have motion detection lights installed.
- Move around. Whenever you’re able to—walk, ride your bike, or use public transportation to get to work. At work, inquire about workstation or desk conditions that support movement, like a sit/stand desk or an under the desk peddler.
- Eat local. Visit your farmer's market for food to pack a healthy lunch and plan customer meetings at restaurants that serve local foods. Farm-to-table is all the rage these days, plus it supports your community and saves on pollution caused by importing products.
- Just say no … to junk email. Take yourself off newsfeeds and promotional mailing lists and only subscribe to the ones you truly need and read.
- Reuse. Many lunch delivery services provide an abundance of plastic cutlery. Ask if that can be omitted and use real silverware instead. If you have a drawerful of plastic cutlery already, don’t throw them out. That said …
- Recycle. Paper, plastic, glass, aluminum, cardboard—the list is long, and a simple recycle wastebasket in your office or break rooms can make these actions easy.
- Stick to reusable water bottles. Extra points if you use glass or stainless steel. Extra bonus points if you can get employees to use coffee mugs instead of the Styrofoam cups.
Your environmental wellness is also affected by anyone (and anything) around you.
- It makes sense to surround yourself with uplifting people who support your goals, foster positivity, and nurture your personal and professional development. It also makes sense to work in an environment that has a supportive social atmosphere where opportunities for connectivity are encouraged.
- If you manage others, provide ways for your employees to become part of a solution that fosters an inclusive and healthy work culture.
Live and work in a culture of respect, gratitude, and thoughtfulness. Choose to be in surroundings that align with your values and supports your mental and physical health.
Take some small steps to improve your environmental wellness. It will add to the positive vibes out there, creating a better environment for everyone.
~ Sue Piette, Writer