A Better yOU: New Year, New yOU

Katie Rose

The new year is a time to reinvent yourself. According to University of Pennsylvania research, only about 40% stick to their resolutions after six months. That’s great that you want to be a super model or climb Mount Everest. But it is important to come up with goals that are within your reach and that can be well-adjusted to your lifestyle and schedule. Let’s look at some realistic environmental, health, and wellness resolutions.

Clean out your kitchen. Go home after class and get rid of all the toxic foods in your kitchen. Look at the nutrition label and decide which items your body will thank you for not eating. Get rid of the sugary ice cream, cookies, chips, soda, etc. Substitute those for fruits, veggies, protein bars, air-popped popcorn, and yogurt. This doesn’t mean you can never have a cookie ever again… It only means that you won’t be tempted to eat a whole box in one sitting.

Get a gym membership or use the Recreation Center more. If you are paying for a gym membership, you may be more inclined to actually go. Yes, you are technically paying for a membership to the OU Recreation Center through your tuition. Since you’re already paying for it, why not use it? If you walk into a gym with no idea what to do, take a class! The OU Recreation Center offers a bunch of programs and classes throughout the week. You can find these listed on their website, www.oakland.edu/campusrec.

Don’t be afraid to park further. I’m always hearing people say we have a parking problem at OU, but maybe it’s more of a walking problem. There are always parking spaces available in P35 and P37 off of Pioneer Rd. Instead of driving around for 20 minutes to find a parking spot in P1, you could park somewhat further away and walk an extra 20 minutes. For healthy adults, it is recommended that you walk 10,000 steps per day, which is about 5 miles. Parking further away is one way to get those extra steps in! Nowadays, you can track your steps by downloading a pedometer app on your smart phone or by wearing a FitBit.

Use reusable bags. When you go grocery shopping, bring a couple reusable bags with you. Think about it: every time you go to the grocery store you would normally use about 4 plastic bags. Let’s say you go grocery shopping about every 2 weeks. That’s about 8 plastic bags per month or 96 plastic bags per year. According to the United Nations Environmental Programme, global plastic consumption has increased from 5.5 million tons to 110 million tons in the last 50 years. That’s a lot of plastic!! And where do these plastic bags end up when you throw them in the trash? The landfill. Plastic is made up of non-biodegradable petroleum and natural gas, and will leak pollutants into the soil and water over the hundreds of years it takes to decompose. There are many different types of plastic, which means that plastic can rarely be recycled due to contamination between the various types of plastic. Some of these plastic bags also end up in oceans and threaten marine life. Reusable bags are relatively cheap, and can be bought at most grocery stores. Think of all the plastic you’ll be saving if you use reusable bags!

Skip the bottled water. Again, stop using so much plastic! There are hydration stations in almost every building on campus where you can refill your bottle with filtered water. If you would like a free water bottle, stop by the Student Congress office on the lower level of the Oakland Center to get one today!

Upcoming environmental, health, and wellness events:

  • American Red Cross Club General Meeting, January 13th, 12:00pm – 1:00pm, Lake Superior A Room in the Oakland Center
  • Biomedical Sciences Society General Meeting, January 20th, 12:00pm – 1:00pm, Heritage Room in the Oakland Center
  • Pre-Physical Therapy Club General Meeting, January 21st, 1:00pm – 2:00pm, MSC 102
  • Leaders for Environmental Awareness and Protection General Meeting, January 28th, 12:00pm – 1:00pm, Lake Superior A Room in the Oakland Center
  • Student Congress Recycling Games, February 3rd, 2:00pm – 5:00pm, Banquet Room A in the Oakland Center