NDSU Extension - Morton County


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April 26, 2021 Work on Evenironmental Wellnessa as a Family

Vanessa Hoines/Family and Community Wellness Agent

Week of April 26


Dates to Remember:

May 5 – Morton County Ag Day, Mandan

May 13 – Ag Marketing Outlook Webinar, 1 pm


Work on Environmental Wellness as a Family

Celebrating Earth Day this past week, started me thinking about environmental wellness.  Wellness is an important topic for everyone in the family.

The areas of wellness most commonly referred to are emotional, intellectual, physical, work, social, financial and spiritual. To have wellness in all of these areas, many people feel that environmental wellness is necessary, too.

One of the ways that we can work on family wellness is to consider our own environments.  Environmental wellness encompasses not only the health of the whole planet, but also your own living space.

To get started on your home environment, do a quick assessment of your living space. Is it healthy for all of the people who live there? Do you store food properly and clean your dishes after each meal? Can you think of these chores in a different way?

The time you take to team up and clean up after a meal is time to spend talking to other family members about their day. When the dishes are washed, the countertops and floors cleaned and the garbage is hauled out, everyone has a sense of order that makes the next meal easier to prepare.

Is your car tidy and in good repair? Carry an empty bag with you when you travel. Take everything in from the vehicle each trip and finish the ride by collecting garbage in the bag. Throw it out when you arrive and you never will have to sit on someone’s leftovers again. Paying attention to car repairs and maintenance will save money and the planet.

Do you have enough space in your home for everything you own, or is this the time to clean out the shoe closet to replace the snow boots and heavy socks with flip-flops and water shoes? Not only will your family benefit from finding all sorts of things that got tossed and forgotten in the closet, you also will find that decluttering even the smallest space gives you the opportunity to hand down, recycle or donate good stuff that the present owner no longer wants.

Some families keep a “donate” tote in a handy location. First, the owner places an unwanted but donatable item in the tote. Someone in the household may find a use for the item even before it leaves the premises. Items left in the tote can be donated as the tote fills.

Another way to improve your environment is to connect with your kids and get some exercise. Set aside 15 to 30 minutes a day to tackle bigger chores together. Decide on a task and a time limit. Divide the task and conquer the space, then celebrate with a game or just marvel together at how quickly you can improve your environment together. Your children will learn how to do indoor and outdoor work and gain skills that will last a lifetime.

Of course, you have many ways you also can improve the Earth’s wellness: reduce waste, recycle, reuse, renew old items. Save natural resources by turning off unnecessary lights, repairing drippy plumbing, opening and closing blinds to conserve heat and cooling, and turning off the water while brushing your teeth. These tiny steps add up to a healthier environment for everyone.

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