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Becoming More Aware of Environmental Wellness

Environmental Wellness has become more recognized as a significant concern to the inhabitants of our planet and for a good reason. This article aims at defining what Environmental Wellness is, what environment stands for, and what environmental relationships are.

What is environmental wellness? Environmental wellness refers to one’s relationship to their surroundings that affect humans’ wellness. It refers to living in harmony with earth by becoming aware of one’s interactions with nature and environment and the impact such interactions have.

What is environment? The word ‘environment’ here refers to one’s surroundings; starting at one’s immediate surroundings and expanding to the world around you, the planet as a whole, the space around our planet, and even outer space.

Let’s break down the definition of environmental wellness into easily digestible points.

Environmental wellness means:

  • Defining one’s relationship with the environment (one’s personal surroundings or immediate surroundings, to the community, the planet, as far as the space around our planet, as well as outer space)
  • Defining one’s environmental relationships (relation one has with everything that exists in one’s environment)
  • Being aware of one’s interactions with nature, environment, and one’s personal environment and understanding the impact of one’s interactions
  • Understanding the correlation between the health of earth with our human wellness
  • Protecting oneself from environmental hazards
  • Seeking to lead a lifestyle that is respectful to our environment by caring for one’s personal possessions and personal space and caring for and appreciating nature.
  • Minimizing the negative impact of one’s actions/behavior on the environment by seeking to live in harmony with environment by minimizing harm and maximizing the positive.
  • Environmental Wellness is one of the interconnected eight dimensions of wellness. See CSQuest article What is Wellness?

Examples of commonly known environmental threats:

  • Ultraviolet radiation
  • Air pollution
  • Chemicals
  • Noise
  • Water pollution
  • Second-hand smoke
  • Electromagnetic pollution

Some components of one’s Environment are:

  • Natural resources
  • The Air
  • Water
  • Noise
  • Space
  • Soil
  • Furniture
  • Food

Examples of commonly known steps to improve environmental wellness:

  • Recycle: Use paper, glass, and aluminum recycling bins in your community.
  • Use recyclable material and ask stores, coffee shops, restaurants to use recyclable materials (do not use Styrofoam, use washable utensils)
  • Take your own bag to the grocery store. If you don’t have your own bag, ask for paper bags.
  • Volunteer in your community
  • Save water: Turn off the water when brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing the dishes.
  • Help a stranger
  • Install smoke detectors in your home.
  • Conserve on gas. If possible, walk or ride a bike.
  • Improve your home’s energy efficiency
  • Be aware of everything you use, produce, buy, and throw away. Think how it impacts the environment
  • Educate yourself.

In a nutshell, environmental wellness means recognizing your individual responsibility and taking action to live in harmony with earth and the environment by understanding the impact of your interactions with environment and taking action to protect the environment.

Environmental Interconnectedness:

It is obvious that all the dimensions of wellness are all interconnected. For instance, it’s hard to feel good when your space is messy or disorganized. But when our personal surroundings (our personal environment) are well cared for, clean and organized, we experience a greater sense of comfort and satisfaction.

Caring for our homes, our workplaces, and other personal environments also helps us maintain a sense of personal care affecting our Emotional Wellness. It reminds us that we love ourselves and by employing gratitude in our lives will help us strengthen relationships with family and friends. See CSQuest articles Healthiest Attitude is One of Gratitude and Why Gratitude is Good for You.

On a larger scale, connecting with nature helps one feel more connected spiritually improving one’s Spiritual Wellness. Keeping the environment healthy helps other humans and other species which in turn improves Social Wellness. The examples of interconnectedness can go on and on forever.

When you become aware of your Environmental Wellness, you look at the world from a broad scale, from outside the box you live in, and then it becomes hard not to get a sense of the bigger picture. The more aware you become, the more you will see and the more empowered you become.

You may want to use the printable Assess Your Own Environmental Wellness document to gauge your current awareness of your environment.

“Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty”. ~ Albert Einstein