Environmental Wellness: Starting a Garden

This isn’t so much a how to post or anything like that as much as it is…so I want to start a small little balcony garden…but I’m not really sure how or what I should do…do any of my readers have gardens? Can you offer any feedback? Tips? Advice? Right now I’m looking for planters at garage sales. I have scouted some local areas for buying plants (I’m probably going to pick them up at the local farmer’s market) but beyond that…I really haven’t thought through the process of what all I am going to need or how to plant things…

My mom had a huge garden while I was growing up so you would think I would have picked up something from her…but nope. I got nothing.

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Environmental Wellness: The Great Magazine Recycle

As you all know, I am an aspiring minimalist. As part of this, I realized I really needed to go through my magazines and recycle them. But I wanted to keep some parts of them, mainly because I am subscribed to Women’s Health and I really just like their magazine for the workout ideas. So last night I went through my magazines and tore out what I needed and used some double sided tape and a notebook to create (er, add to) my own workout notebook. And now my magazines are ready to be recycled!

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Do you still get magazines? What do you do with them? Keep? Recycle? Tear out what you like? Or have you moved completely to the online versions?

Environmental Wellness: Donating

This past weekend, I finished up my roundup of clothes to be donated. I always prefer to donate my clothes instead of just tossing them or keeping them in my wardrobe. Over the past 18 months or so I have become much more of a minimalist and prefer having a smaller wardrobe. So as I purchase updates for my wardrobe, I make sure that I set aside clothes to donate because I have x amount of hangers and that’s it. I’m not buying any new hangers. Beyond that, I try to go through my wardrobe with a critical eye about every 4 months or so and get rid of stuff that I am just not wearing or that really doesn’t fit me anymore. I do take my clothes first to Plato’s Closet to try and make a couple bucks and then I always donate to Goodwill.

Beyond just donating clothes, now is the time of year that you see the ringers for the Salvation Army (for personal reasons, I never donate to them-mainly b/c they are an organization that openly does not support same-sex marriage and they have a lot of religious beliefs that dictate their organization-which is fine, but I do not agree with them, so I choose to donate to other places), the call for canned goods, and donations for homeless shelters and pet shelters. I always think it is important to donate what you can. Even if you cannot afford to donate money, try to donate something. Whether it is items from your cupboard or wardrobe or perhaps you donate time. And try to make sure that it isn’t just during the holiday season that you donate.

Do you donate? Where/what/why? Let’s discuss, shall we?

Environmental Wellness: Say What?

One of the most overlooked dimensions of wellness for me is environmental wellness. And it is not necessarily because I don’t do some bits of environmental wellness…I guess I just don’t remember to incorporate elements of environmental wellness into my lifestyle. Or I do things without thinking about it or it just happens to fall into environmental wellness…if that makes sense. So I walk to work not necessarily for environmental wellness, but mostly for physical and emotional/mental wellness.

This post is mostly spurred by my trip to Kentucky. While in Kentucky, I actually did a pretty good job of recycling. I had a box in my apartment and I would take recycling to the recycling center about every week and drop stuff off. It’s something I started doing my senior year of undergrad. Where I grew up, we got our recycling picked up at our house and so when I moved to my undergrad institution’s town (make sense?), I had to start taking my recycling in. Where I lived in Kentucky was the same thing-I had to take my recycling in to drop it off, so it makes the task a little bit “harder”.

Basically, I would like to get better at making sure I meet some of the needs of environmental wellness. And here’s my game plan.

  • Take reusable bags to grocery stores. Except that I usually use my plastic bags as trash can liners…sooo…I can take some reusable bags and just make sure I pick up a few of the plastic bags? Ok, now this is where it gets complicated because I always go to the u-scan/self scan aisle so I am good at not having a million bags…I cram as many groceries as possible into a bag and I use the plastic bags as trashcan liners and also when I go swimming to put my wet stuff in…so…should I use reusable bags? Let me know your thoughts. Seriously.
  • Continue walking to work at least 4 days a week. Bike and walk other places as much as possible (really I should only need my car when going grocery shopping and…yeah that should be it).
  • Wait! I’ll need my car when I take my recycling in! I’m going to start doing that again! That will cut down on my trash and maybe I won’t need as many plastic bags then!

This wasn’t really a to-do list. The other thing that I have been thinking about is replacing all my light bulbs with the energy efficient light bulbs-well as much as I can replace them.

What are some other good tips you have for meeting some of the needs in environmental wellness? Or do you think you meet those needs pretty well already? Why do you think it is important (or not) to value the environment?