June 21st, 2024

All Psyched Up: Environmental concerns

By Linda Hancock on June 1, 2024.

There has been a lot of talk lately about collecting taxes to try to deal with the environment. Funny how we all live on the same globe with different countries treating this issue in different ways. Don’t we ultimately share the same air, water and land? Makes me wonder how one country can expect to solve the problem for the whole world.

Since I was a child, we were taught about the importance of our environment and how to protect it. Trees were given away by the Saskatchewan government to farmers to form wind belts and thus prevent topsoil from drifting. Our schools had us not only go out into the community to collect waste, but we were also taught not to litter in the first place. Because we had a cistern which was a cement crib in the ground, we didn’t let water run hoping it would cool. The water was limited and had to be hauled. Another habit that was encouraged was to turn off lights as we left a room and not turn them on again unless absolutely necessary in order to save electricity.

Our mental health is also affected by the habits that we have established. Here are a few thoughts to ponder when it comes to improving your personal environment to build enjoyment:

1. Office – Years ago, my daughter came to visit me at my office in a government building. She was rather disheartened by the grey vertical blinds, beige walls and impersonal setting. I have always been thankful for the advice she gave me that day. She said “Mom make it yours. Bring in a nice water glass and a plant”. I went further than that and added a colourful afghani and small CD player so that I could also enjoy soft music. We wound some sheer drapes around the closed blinds, and in no time, I had a wonderful environment in which to work. Absolutely no cost as everything was just repurposed from my home.

2. Home – Unfortunately, the more “stuff” you have, the easier it is to live in a cluttered environment. When my children were young, we had a box that I used to gather up belongings that everyone left strewn around the main living areas. Rather than trying to put everything away, the family members would merely go to the box when they were looking for something. It didn’t solve the problem of laziness, but it did keep the living room livable. Also, I still always make a point of packaging extra food, wiping counters and putting dishes away after each meal so there is always order and cleanliness. The financial cost: nothing!

3. Outside – Most people have a mower, chairs and a garden hose. If you use them, you will have an inviting yard in which to sit without any additional cost. And remember to clean up after the dog so that you aren’t facing a big task or mine fields that prevent confident walking across the lawn.

I remember going into a store in Okotoks with my grandson a few years ago and talking with the owner. I noted his Duch accent and stated that the people from Holland always seem to value cleanliness. He smiled and asked me if I knew why that occurs. He explained “Holland is a very small country so if we make a mess, we have to step in it”. Good advice.

If each of us took care of the environment in which we live and work, wouldn’t it be a lovely place to live? It doesn’t cost anything to throw trash in a bin, clean living areas, and repurpose what we already have available.

Caring for the environment can be an inexpensive project if we each just do a little. Remember, we are all in this together!

Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email office@drlindahancock.com

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