Environmental Wellness

Simplify and Improve Personal Wellness with the Four Rs: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Karen Best Wright, BS, MA, Holistic Wellness Coach


4RsDo you get stressed when looking for a lost item, knowing you just saw it but now cannot find it? Do you buy things you do not need and then shove them in a cabinet or the back of the closet? Do you keep too many things due to sentimental value? If this feels familiar, it is time to work on the four Rs. Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

Refuse: This means to stop getting things you do not need. Just because something is on sale or is "cute," does not mean it is necessary. However, that does not mean everything you get has to be necessary, but it does warrant thinking two or three times before adding it to your home or life.

Reduce: This simply means having fewer items of things you do need or want. Everyone needs dishes, but how many dishes? Everyone needs shoes. Again, how many pairs of shoes does one person need? Your space and how organized you are may determine how much stuff is too much.

Reuse: Finding creative ways to reuse items rather than buying everything new can be rewarding. Using cloth bags, rather than plastic, reduces toxic garbage. Buying concentrated dish soap with reusable dispensers reduces waste and saves money.

Recycle: Recycling means making something new out of something old. A creative craftsman can take something completely apart to make something different. However, recycling is often available at the commercial level. Take advantage of local recycling centers.

Simplifying life using the four R's can reduce stress. Reducing stress improves one's well-being. So before purchasing something or receiving someone else's unwanted items, determine if you need them and where you will store them, or else you may just add to more clutter and stress.


Personal Environmental Wellness

By Karen Best Wright

Published in Albemarle Tradewinds

AlbemarleTradewinds.com

Environmental Wellness ranges from one's personal space to the all-encompassing physical world. Our earth's resources and environment are crucial. However, this article refers to personal environmental wellness, one’s home, neighborhood, and work environments. As with the other areas of wellness, one's personal environment affects all areas of health and wellness. The synergy of all aspects of wellness creates balance or imbalance in life.

When evaluating the home environment, there are several things to consider. The first is basic safety. One end of the spectrum is a dirty home, infested with insects, cluttered floors, and in need of vital repairs, causing a dangerous impact on health and wellness. The other end of this spectrum is a clean and orderly house that is maintained, creating a sense of peace and safety. The home environment directly impacts a person's physical and emotional well-being.

The neighborhood environment is crucial when it comes to safety issues. Is it safe to walk the neighborhood, especially at night? Is there a feeling of peace and beauty or anxiety and apprehension? Creating safe neighborhood environments usually requires the help of more than just the residents living on a specific street. It may require the support of an entire community. However, even individual residents can take a trash bag on a walk and pick up clutter, improving the safety and appearance of their little piece of the world.

The work environment is significant when a person spends a sizable amount of time each day at work. OSHA rules are put in place to prevent physical hazards in the workplace. However, even within those rules, there may be challenges. While one person might thrive in a busy and noisy work environment, another will not. Along with the physical safety of the workplace, the emotional and social environment also impacts employees. Are supervisors or other employees kind and supportive to each other or difficult and rude? An adverse work environment is stressful and can set a person up for a life feeling out of balance.

When evaluating your environmental wellness, remember to consider what you have total control over and when you need the collaboration of a team. A team effort creates a positive approach to a healthy personal environment, whether family members, neighbors, or co-workers. Living in a healthy personal environment benefits all areas of life.