Today on April 14th, we celebrate National Gardening Day! Whether you have a garden of your own, have a friend with a green thumb, or are looking to start one, this day is used to spread the word of the joys and benefits of gardening.
Why Should I Start A Garden?
There is a wide array of benefits to gardening. It can act as a physical activity in a subtle and relaxing way. Working outside in a garden, whether in your yard or a community plot, is a peaceful form of exercise that can build muscle and boost your physical health.
This type of connection to nature is also beneficial to your mental and emotional wellbeing. Spending time outside can lower stress and ease depression, not to mention lower your carbon footprint. This sustainable hobby lessens your dependence on driving to the grocery store, connecting you deeply to the food you eat as you grew it yourself. This creates a sense of pride and nourishes your body and mind in a meaningful way.
Buying seeds to plant is a practical way to eat home grown, organic food for very little money. If you are someone who wishes they could eat healthier for less money, starting a garden is the answer. Besides finances, gardening is a sustainable use of space, whether in your yard or a community garden. Connecting yourself to the land, the cycle of life, and the food you eat is enriching in so many ways.
There are many resources to beginning a garden online. It may seem daunting to start to grow your own food, but with a little research and beginner supplies, you can do it! Even if you live in an apartment, there are several herbs and vegetables you can plant in a pot on your windowsill.
You may ask: Why should I start a garden? The real question is: Why not?
On the first Wednesday in April, the American Heart Association sponsors National Walking Day. This annual event is meant to motivate people of all ages to get out and walk, and to remind us of the many, many benefits of walking.
Physical Health Benefits
According to Better Health, the simple act of walking increases muscle strength and endurance, and is an effective exercise in reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. It’s also one of the easiest workouts to fit into your daily routine and lifestyle. You can squeeze it into small moments, like walking up and down your stairs for a few minutes a day, walking to a local shop instead of driving, or taking a walk with a friend. Walking for 30 minutes every day strengthens your lungs, joints, circulation, muscles, and mind!
Mental Health Benefits
Besides being a great way to maintain a healthy body, walking holds a lot of benefits for your mind. It’s a natural and human action to walk and explore. When you move your body, your mind begins to clear as your muscles warm up. Even a leisurely walk in the park can make a world of difference for stress and anxiety. Walking lightens your mood and improves your sleep, which has a massive impact on the way you feel in your day-to-day life.
Taking a walk has a greater impact than most people consider. When you choose to walk, even if you have no destination in mind, you are a part of the effort toward creating a sustainable community. More walkers in urban areas creates a quieter environment, taking away from the bustle and noise of busy streets. Walking within your community is a resourceful use of space, and seeing people walking can spread joy and activity more than you may think. With more people walking, an area appears safe and comfortable for others to explore as well. You never know who you may inspire when you walk around your neighborhood!
Walking and Inclusivity
Living in a walkable neighborhood is not accessible to everyone, unfortunately. In areas affected by social barriers, the benefits of walking are out of reach for many Americans. We encourage you to learn more about inequities in infrastructure investments in communities of color at AmericaWalks.org.
What’s the first chore you tackle when spring cleaning? Is it your closet, your kitchen, your garage? Don’t forget about another space that can be easy to leave out of the mix: your car!
If you’re a member of a carpool, you want to make sure your vehicle is a clean space for your coworkers. Especially as we continue to protect ourselves and others against COVID-19, keeping your car disinfected and tidy is an important step to take.
Spring cleaning in your vehicle can start with an in-depth interior wash: Vacuum the floors and seats, dusting your radio and consoles, detail cleaning the small spaces like cupholders, and disinfecting door handles and buttons.
Get Your Windows Squeaky Clean
Winter can take a toll on your windows and mirrors. Sand and salt can be a pain for those who deal with snow where they live. Spray and wipe your windshield, windows, and side-view mirrors with a microfiber cloth. This is also a good time to replace your wipers to make sure they are ready for the April showers to come!
Two Words: Car Wash!
Whether you do it yourself or make your way to the car wash, cleaning your car’s exterior is one of the most important steps to keeping your vehicle in tip-top condition. Washing the car can be a fun activity on a warm day, or a quick errand if you would rather get it professionally done. Be thorough; don’t forget to wash your tires or headlights, and even finish with a wax if you’re up to it.
Let's Get To It!
Spring cleaning is a time to get parts of our daily life back in order after the winter months. Our vehicles play a major role in our day-to-day functions, and a messy car can leave you frazzled. Keeping your car clean is great for any commuter, especially members of a carpool. Who doesn’t love clean car compliments when you pick up a coworker?
With vaccine rollouts and back-to-work plans getting ramped up, we’d like to share some tips from the CDC on how to keep yourself and your colleagues safe while in a carpool!
The most obvious one: Play it safe and stay masked up in your carpool. It’s a simple and effective tactic to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while in a shared vehicle with your coworkers and friends. Make sure you’re taking proper care of your face masks, too. Ideally, wash your reusable masks and replace disposable masks after each use.
Get the Fresh Air Flowing
Get some fresh air on your way to the office by having the windows cracked on your ride. This keeps the air circulating in and out of the vehicle. If it’s cold, rainy, or just not realistic to have any windows down, the air vents in the vehicle will work as a helpful circulation system, too.
Keep Your Carpool Crew Close
Consistently having the same riders in your carpool reduces the amount of people you are in close quarters with. Keeping your carpool circle smaller helps with contact tracing, and reduces some of the risk from sharing a ride with a group that changes throughout the week.
What Else Can We Do?
There are little things to work into your carpool routine to keep you and your coworkers safe. Use proper hand hygiene, clean and disinfect surfaces in the vehicle often, and don’t overcrowd the vehicle you ride in.
Want to discuss ways to keep your carpools as safe as possible? Check out the CDC factsheet we have provided below. You can also contact us for our expertise and consulting services. Let’s talk!
The holiday that seems to be about all things green has quite a few traditions that aren’t exactly eco-friendly. St. Patrick’s Day, a beloved celebration of Irish culture, brings us parties, delicious food, and parades each year. But is there a way to make sure we are making this holiday truly green? Here are some tips!
Ditch the Car
If you have plans with friends, consider walking or taking public transit to your destination. This way, you can avoid road congestion, parking frustrations, and above all, the very real risk of drunk driving accidents. The possibility of someone getting behind the wheel after a drink can be avoided altogether with one of these safer and greener modes of transportation.
As much as we all love plastic beaded necklaces and glittery shamrock décor, cutting down on our plastic usage can still be possible on fun holidays like St. Paddy’s Day. Make decorations out of green cloth, ribbon, or fabric, and make a day of it! You can keep the things you make for years to come, and give your home a totally unique look since everything will be made by you. Need some ideas? Here’s a great article!
Eliminate the stress of going out on such a busy holiday – Have a fun night in with your family or friends! Watching movies and eating classic St. Paddy’s dishes can be a memorable and stress-free night. Especially with parades cancelled and many events/locations closed due to the pandemic, a chill night in could be exactly what you need. Not to mention… It’s not even the weekend yet!
As the holiday approaches, be sure to drive safely, and take with you this old Irish blessing: “May you have all the happiness and luck that life can hold—and at the end of your rainbows may you find a pot of gold.”