Environmental Wellness – it plays such a big role nowadays. After all, it has an impact on how
- we interact with the nature around us
- we can protect the world
- the environment influences our personal well being.
How does the environment we find ourselves in make us feel? And are we respectful of what is around us?
Thinking about Environmental Wellness was interesting. Some memories came flashing back to how I felt when I arrived in Cairo, Egypt years ago. We had just moved with 2 babies. And the contrast to Singapore where we had been living for 5 years couldn’t have been bigger. I was always conscious of the environment. But that move was a wake-up call and took the awareness – and irritation about how ignorant others can be towards a clean environment – to a different level.
I remember that I taught myself to become kind of ignorant to the garbage I saw along the streets. Over time I learned not to see it anymore as it affected me and my emotions. It’s sad to say that but there was no way I could have coped with it back then. I still very much focused on what part I could play at home, but dealing with it outside was too much.
And moving can do that to us. It can be hard to move from somewhere clean to heavily polluted areas. It does not only affect the health but as well our own overall wellbeing. Or imagine a move – or just a small break – the other way around. This great feeling when you can suddenly BREATHE again.
Back in Cairo, I met Marlou. As an environmental consultant, she felt affected by the situation she faced back then. But rather than just looking on she took action and created “Happy Green World”.
“At the time, living in Cairo, we were confronted daily with enormous amounts of rubbish on the streets and the effect of this on the environment. Together we developed the first educational programme for children about waste, named Green Egypt. This programme, in Arabic, was used in local and international schools in Egypt and is available in various book shops in Cairo.”
Meanwhile, Marlon and her team are connecting with organisations in several other countries to help them see how they can support their environment. “Happy Green World Foundation develops educational programmes about waste, water and energy with the aim of teaching children in the age group 6 to 12 years sustainable behaviour. Dutch and international organisations help the foundation with having the educational materials translated and placing them in schools all over the world. We approach (local) companies and organisations for fund-raising.” More information on Happy Green World can be found here.
But no, you do not have to create a company to take care of the Environmental Wellness. Every small step you do counts, for your own wellbeing but as well for your local and the global environment.
Here a few thoughts on what each one of us can do, no matter where we live. They might be small steps but if we all do it they can leave a big imprint to our environment:
- reduce – BYO shopping bag, is an easy one! Avoid plastic bottles, bring your own refill bottles when you are out and about! And I’m working on reducing “to-go” coffee mugs myself. There is room for improvement here for me – but it’s doable!
- reuse and recycle – if you have shopping bags use them as garbage bags. Friends meanwhile give me their shopping bags as I’m running out. Arrange book swaps, clothing swaps, hand-me-down children clothing, etc. Create arts and crafts out of recycled materials.
- use your resources wisely – turn your water off while toothbrushing, turn of lights and television, use air conditioners only as you need them!
- reduce chemicals – use more natural (cleaning) materials
- stop junk mail – it’s a tough one to achieve here in Japan it seems!
- walk, bike, use public transport, be outside – reduce the use of the car when you can or car-pool when possible.
- clean your rubbish when you are outside – how I admire Japan in that regard. They really have that one imprinted when they are out and about! But they still have a long way to go when it comes to reducing!
- set a good example to the kids – don’t just talk but act!
Environmental Wellness ~ by bringing awareness to that one we do not only help our own well-being but we do as well play a part to create a better global environment, for us and all generations to come.
Do you have more easy to follow suggestions or a business that plays into the Environmental Wellness? I would love to hear from you!