Today is earth day. I’m sure you know that but the general consensus is that every day should be earth day! For New England patrons, the season of spring finally has arrived without surprise snow flurries for almost a week SO the urge to spend time outside is contagious (in a good way)! Here at the Community Health Center, Inc. there are many exciting opportunities and resources available to achieve the spring mindset of growth, rebirth, life and unity. One way we kicked off the spring season was a recent Easter event held on the roof for local families. Photo opportunities with the bunny and tasty smoothie samples were on the list of fun activities. With the support of our National Service members who take a lead on many Family Wellness Projects, the start of a new season is a great way to promote not only personal health goals and habits but those of a family, community and of course, the EARTH!
Read a bit below about some new and reoccurring wellness ideas at CHC along with some useful tips about treating everyday like Earth Day.
- Explore the Family Wellness Center!
Located in Middletown and New Britain, The Family Wellness Centers (FWC) of Connecticut is part of CHC’s commitment to healthy, happy communities. They provide free programs to kids, a wide variety of playgroups, parent education classes, and more! AmeriCorps members have helped create an easily accessible website that is simple to navigate with both English and Spanish updates. To learn more about new programs such as “SNAP-Ed” which recommends healthy meal options with cost effective ingredients, visit the website, http://familywellnesscenter.weebly.com/. For daily updates, wellness suggestions and general information, ‘like’ the FWC Facebook page and follow for other ways to stay up to date with the schedule, https://www.facebook.com/fwcatchc .
- Download & Print the Helping Hands Zine!
This new approach to an informational handout takes a less traditional route to a ‘magazine’. The second volume follows a spring theme that encourages reading, writing, and creativity. An idea to engage young patients waiting to see a doctor or perhaps something to have on hand at our Family Wellness Centers, this ‘Zine’ is meant to benefit both children and parents!Helping Hands Zine 2 pdf
- Play in the dirt!
CHC is starting to work with local groups and prepare the rooftop garden plots for another season! With a huge help from Middletown Garden Club Volunteers and the MARC: Community Resources group, the seven beds will be filled with all natural plants and vegetables that will enhance the ‘green design’ of the building along with promoting community collaboration. Spend time now planting seeds and prepping a small garden in your yard or check out local plots where you can contribute. The North End Action Team does a fabulous job with local gardens on Ferry Street and a few other locations. Other CHC sites have planting areas and more are being organized. Gardening can improve a bad mood, offer a stress free environment and allow time outdoors!
- Treat every day like Earth Day!
Reuse instead of buying new every time.
Repurpose The more creative cousin of reuse, repurposing turns old junk into new, functional objects.
Rot compost everything organic.
Repair instead of replacing.
Return Only buy from companies with take-back programs.
Refill instead of buying disposable bottles and paper cups.
Refuse to buy overpackaged, disposable, single-use junk.
Take shorter showers, carpool once per week, don’t drink bottled water, recycle old electronics (and paper, plastic, cans, etc.), don’t litter, the list goes on and on but how often do we make a genuine effort? In honor of ‘family wellness’ I ask people to expand upon their efforts to keep this planet alive for light-years to come and at least practice the ‘7 Rs’ on a daily basis. The Lorax may speak for the trees but who is speaking for the climate, ozone, water supply, air quality? I often fall short on my environmental duties but as a family, a community, a planet, we owe wellness activities to each other and the earth we live on! Share ideas and resources on the FWC Facebook page.