Students relaxing in a residence lounge.

Environmental

In its purest form, Environmental Wellness is when your environment contributes positively to your overall wellbeing. It can be interpreted as putting yourself in an environment that you are comfortable in, changing your environment so that it makes you feel comfortable, and overall, looking at a more global scale of making everyone feel better about being in their environment.

Environmental wellness also involves incorporating the outdoor community environment and nature in your life to feel a greater sense of peace. As such, it is important to take the time in nature to get to know it. Environmental sustainability is part of environmental wellness as well as sustaining a positive personal environment.

Signs of Healthy Environmental Wellness

  • Being conscious of the way you interact with your environment
  • Operating as a community to improve the overall environment for everyone
  • Accepting stewardship of our local surroundings
  • Minimizing your individual impact on the environment by limiting consumption
  • Maintaining a healthy personal environment to support your development

Signs you may want to enhance your Environmental Wellness

  • Reduce your audible and visual disruptions that may cause stress and irritability
  • Tidy up and clean any cluttered, dirty, littered environment
  • Reduce excessive electronic distractions

Strategies to enhance your Environmental Wellness

  • Eat locally produced food- Farmers Market at Brescia is every Wednesday in the library foyer
  • Visit local farmers markets in London, such as the ones held at Western, Trails End Flea Market, Covent Garden Market, Western Fair Farmers Market, Ogilvie’s Food and Artisan Market, etc.
  • Join an environmental organization, such as EnviroWestern
  • Attend events and initiatives that help you to meet people and gain knowledge that will help you open your mind to new ways of thinking
  • Protect yourself and others from environmental hazards such as loud noise, air and water pollution, second hand smoke, and ultraviolet radiation
  • Walk or ride your bike (weather permitting) whenever possible
  • Follow the 3 Rs in order, Reduce, then Reuse, then Recycle
  • Shut off electronics and lights when possible
  • Print less and utilize online resources
  • Only leave water running when necessary
  • Use reusable containers whenever possible
  • Unplug and turn off electronics when not in use
  • Set the thermostat to a more moderate temperature to save energy when you are not home
  • Purchase products in bulk when possible to reduce packaging waste
  • Avoid plastic bags when shopping- start your collection of reusable bags
  • Buy non-toxic cleaning products or make your own cleaning products!
  • Educate yourself on environmental issues and start educating others
  • Your personal environment connects to emotional wellness by influencing your mood, behaviour, motivation, etc. Surround yourself with positive people
  • Conserve energy by using energy efficient light bulbs and appliances

Benefits/Facts on Environmental Wellness

  • Being comfortable and at peace in your environment
  • A better understanding of one’s role within the environment
  • A greater appreciation for one’s personal and the global environment
  • A reduced carbon footprint
  • Enjoying a more sustainable lifestyle
  • A greater connection to nature and the environment
  • Eating locally is more nutritious as there is less nutrient loss between harvest and consumption
  • Fresh air directly contributes to one’s happiness
  • Fresh air also benefits ones focus and concentration levels, making complex tasks easier
  • Environments free of pollution also contribute to better mental and cognitive state

Resources

On and Off-Campus
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Online
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Apps
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  • My-Waste London
  • Dirty Dozen- Learn about pesticides in produce, etc.
  • Think Dirty- Learn about beauty products that have potentially toxic ingredients, scan your beauty products to learn more or when you are shopping to help you decide
  • Oroeco- Help solve climate change
  • OnTime Transit- London Transit schedule 

Recommend a resource, tool, tip or app that has helped you with the seven dimensions of wellness by emailing the Student Life Centre.

References
http://iwellness.uwo.ca/environmental/index.html
http://blog.starkeypro.com/cognitive-benefits-of-digital-noise-reduction/
http://goodrelaxation.com/2012/01/health-benefits-of-fresh-air/
http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/7_benefits_of_eating_local_foods