Leading an environmentally conscious lifestyle which is respectful of our surroundings can have a significant effect on how well we feel. It only takes a moment to pause and consider how we feel in our environments, and how those environments may be influencing our mental, physical and emotional health.
Understanding the impact of your interaction with nature and your personal environment, and taking action to protect the world around you, is a key aspect of environmental wellness – but there is more to it than that. All the people, places and things around us which make up our environment can directly (and indirectly) affect how we feel. Taking care of the environments in which you operate on a regular basis (e.g. home, school, work, car etc) can assist perception of general wellbeing, when the spaces we occupy are supportive, nurturing and provide us opportunity in which to thrive.
Environmental wellness involves a number of different aspects of personal and societal responsibilities to support and protect the environment, including:
- Appreciating nature by spending time outdoors, being aware of the earth's natural resources and taking steps to care for our natural environment
- Living a life accountable to environmental needs, both in the present and in the long-term
- Realizing the effects of your daily habits on those around you – at home, work, when engaged in other activities etc.
- Seeking out like minded people
- Enjoyment through outdoor recreational activities
- Engaging in environmentally responsible activities
- Maximizing harm to the earth
Ways to improve your Environmental Wellness?
- Practice recycling (Paper, cans, glass, plastic, print cartridges etc at home and work)
- Conserve electrical energy? (e.g. switching off lights when not in the room, shutting down the computer at end of the day, turning appliances off at the wall etc)
- Conserve water? (e.g. By only washing dishes and clothes when there is a full load in the machine, turning taps off when brushing teeth, having a water wise garden and observing water restriction periods)
- Limit unnecessary use of aerosols and fertilizers in and around my home/ work?
- Take steps to fix the problem safety hazards at work or home?
- Volunteer time to worthy causes?
- Eliminated useless bulk and clutter? (donating old clothes, furniture, and recycling other materials where possible, clearing and organizing your work desk)
- Avoid littering
For more information on Curtin University’s environmental wellness initiatives, contact Dr Odile Pouliquen-Young (9266 3376), go to http://greencampus.curtin.edu.au/ or follow the Green Campus Group on https://www.yammer.com/curtin.edu.au