Establishing a healthier lifestyle is admirable, but it shouldn’t stop with your food and exercise choices. Look around, beyond your home’s confines, and see how you can also improve your community’s health choices. Your immediate environment can have a major impact on your health and that of your neighbors. With a little effort and organization, you can work together to create a cleaner, safer, and healthier environment for all. Here are just five ways to help keep your community healthy.
Keep Things Clean
Hopefully, your community already has regular waste collection and cleaning services in place. Weekly trash collection and street sweeping go a long way toward preventing disease, accidents, and more. In the meantime, instigate community clean-ups for your neighborhood and encourage others to pick up and properly dispose of waste. Learn more about the role the Environmental Protection Agency plays in your neighborhood and contact them for more ideas and suggestions for keeping your community clean and safe from hazardous waste and other issues.
Promote Community Exercise
Running, bike riding, and other forms of outdoor exercise might be fun to do alone, but they’re even more enjoyable when you do them with others. Set up community exercise opportunities like yoga sessions, races, community bike tours, and so forth. People will exercise more if there’s a communal aspect involved. And concentrate on offering exercise opportunities for the young and old. Both groups need it most!
Make Healthy Eating Interesting and Fun
Research and encourage your local merchants to offer healthier options if there are more fast-food joints than healthy grocery stores and restaurants in your community. Find out how to establish a farmers’ market during the summer and autumn months, if your community doesn’t already host one, so locals can find and purchase fresh and healthy produce. Talk to your local librarians and government representatives about setting up educational sessions and workshops on eating and cooking healthy and satisfying dishes.
Start a Community Garden
Here’s a fun and productive way to get people interested in where food comes from and how they can raise and eat their produce. Find an unused area of land in your community and see if it’s available for a community garden. It can be a small patch of land or several acres. Divvy up the land into plots and prepare it for planting fruits and vegetables, raising poultry, and the like. Get the word out by offering sections of the garden to anyone willing to work the soil. Establishing a community garden (or two) is also a great way to introduce children to gardening and making healthy food choices.
Try To Reduce Car Dependence
Reducing how often you use your personal vehicle is the last of our five ways to help keep your community healthy. Cars are a way of life in North America, but they don’t always have to be. Encourage your local government to support carpooling. Set up weekly bike rides around town. Start a walking club to get more people interested in strolling your town or city’s streets and green spaces. Fewer cars on the road mean fewer emissions and more cardio activity for all, making for stronger lungs and hearts.