One definition of the Environmental dimension of well-being is to, “be aware of the interactions between the environment, community and yourself, and behave in ways that care for each of these responsibly,” according to University of New Hampshire Health Services.
It involves living in harmony with the earth and understanding that the everyday decisions we make impact the world around us. It incorporates our building and social environments and involves developing a lifestyle that respects and improves them both. It is about understanding the long-term effects of our everyday decisions and holding ourselves accountable for present and long-term environmental needs and the limitations of the earth’s resources.
University Recreation and Well-Being is making strides in this dimension. Some of the components implemented include:
- Provide and maintain outdoor recreational space
- Promote hand washing and equipment cleaning to decrease transmission of germs
- Participate in recycling programs
- Maintain safe, clean recreational areas
- Provide excellent customer service to promote a warm, welcoming atmosphere
- Encourage a positive social environment through provision of space and activities (table tennis, basketball, IMs and clubs)
Looking toward the future, there are many simple ways, as individuals, we can adopt habits that improve environmental well-being. Dartmouth’s list of “ways to nourish your environmental root,” located below, gives examples of these ways.
- Appreciate non-materialistic aspects of life.
- Be aware of waste you create.
- Bring your own reusable utensils, mugs, and cups.
- Walk/bike instead of driving when going short distances.
- Contribute to a community cause in which you believe.
- Turn off lights, TV, etc. when you are not in a room.
- Unplug devices when you are done using them.
- Keep your living environment clutter-free and clean.
- Be aware of your impact on the social environment in any situation and in your community.
- Express gratitude to those whose work supports the community of which you are part.
- Make use of the items you purchase/own.
None of these require additional educational degrees. They are common sense approaches to a significant issue. All of these suggestions have the ability to enhance our lives in a positive manner and leave a better future for those who come after us.