By Kevin Stevens, RN, MSN, CHSE MS CPD Student Certified IRONMAN Coach
Ahh, spring has sprung, the sun is shining when it’s not cloudy and raining and the birds are chirping, usually at 4:00 a.m. This is the time when everyone is ready to head outdoors. What better way to do so than to get involved in the largest road race in the nation, an annual spring event, Bloomsday? A nice 7.46 mile jaunt through the beautiful Spokane area.
What can a desire to learn and practice more about intellectual wellness and celebrating Earth Day have in common? I thought about that for a lot of time in March and stumbled on the easy answer: quite a bit.
Do you want to be greener, but don’t know where to start? Here are a few ideas for how to make more sustainable choices at work. If you are just starting your sustainability journey, start small. Small efforts can have big impacts.
The key to reducing your waste is to think about the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Using this lens can help you choose items that come in recyclable or reusable packaging, or find creative ways to use what you already have instead of purchasing something new. If you are just starting your sustainability journey, try choosing just one item to become more contentious about. Small efforts have big impacts.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a “waste-not, want-not” kind of person. Last April, when I accepted a position at WSU, I was excited. Of course I was excited about the job, and the innovative community I was joining, but I was also looking forward to taking advantage of alternative commuting options. I wasn’t sure if I could be successful biking to work and back home each day, so I set a goal. I called it my 30 Day Green Challenge. My goal was to bike to work at least 4 days a week, for 30 days. I wanted to give myself one day to drive in case I needed to lug large items to work, or attend mid-day appointments. I am glad to report that I was successful with my 30 Day Green Challenge. Beyond successful. I found that I could be pretty creative with bringing larger items on my bike, and that most of my appointments could be scheduled within walking or biking distance of campus. I only drove to work two days that month.
By Jonathan Wisor, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
A winter as rough as the one we are experiencing doesn’t have to keep us indoors. We are blessed with outdoor opportunities here in the Inland Northwest in the form of snowshoeing, downhill skiing and cross-country (aka ‘Nordic’) skiing.
As a SERE Specialist in the Air Force Special Operations (AFSOC), I instructed select Department of Defense personnel in stress management from combat survival and captured situations in order to return with honor. I finished my undergraduate education at the University of Washington and I am a 4th year PhD candidate studying the impact of exercise on the body’s ability to tolerate and recovery from stressful events.
What I believe is of significant importance is that people understand the impact that chronic stress has on health outcomes. Beyond gastrointestinal distress, tension headaches, and lost sleep, stress can have serious consequences. Stress has been implicated in cardiovascular disease, immune dysfunction, and shrinkage of the amygdala, a part of the brain responsible for memory.
It is impossible to avoid stress in life. Therefore, your attendance will arm you with the ability to detect signs that will help you identify and counter any stress that you may be experiencing before it becomes chronic and problematic.
Richard Young will be a panelist at #StressAndHealthyU at WSU Spokane January 12th from 12:00-1:00pm in SAC 20. Students, faculty, and staff from the university district are encouraged to attend!