Welcome to the Wheel of Wellbeing (WoW) – a simple framework designed to improve people’s health, happiness and wellbeing by focusing on six areas – Body, Mind, Spirit, People, Place and Planet. This monthly newsletter provides a roundup of the latest wellbeing tips, activities, research and resources to inspire better health and wellbeing. Tap into them – for yourself, your families, workplaces, schools and communities – and help create a happier world for us all!
This month’s theme is inspired by the compelling call to action in Sir David Attenborough’s powerful film ‘A Life on our Planet’, as well as a line-up of exciting environmental awareness days to help us to create a happier, healthier Planet for all of us and future generations.
Our Impact on the Planet
Sir David Attenborough’s unique life experience and story is a testament to our times. According to the The Planetary Health Alliance, since 1950 – when Sir David was in his early 20s – the human population has increased by nearly 200%; fossil fuel consumption by over 550%; and marine fish capture by over 350%. We’ve placed dams on about 60% of the world’s rivers, we’ve cleared nearly half of temperate and tropical forests, we use nearly half of accessible freshwater every year, and we use about half of the planet’s liveable surface to feed ourselves. Pollinators, which are needed for plants and crops to grow, are disappearing worldwide and Sir David’s film captures the stark reality of how biodiversity is rapidly being lost: an estimated 150 species become extinct each day, which is 1,000 times higher than the “natural” or “background” rate.
So what can we do about it? Read on to find out more…
Create a focal point for wellbeing activities in your school, workplace or community. Mark these dates in your calendar and step up to help ourselves and the Planet.
Let’s Clean Up Days in March
Business Clean Up Day, 2 March
Schools Clean Up Day, 5 March
Clean Up Australia Day, 7 March
Clean Up Australia inspires and empowers communities to clean up, fix up and conserve our environment. Let’s focus on living more sustainably – not only on Clean Up Australia Day but every day of the year.
Global Recycling Day, 18 March
Think about all the stuff we throw away – is it waste? Or is it an opportunity?
Global Recycling Day encourages us to see it as an opportunity to think resource, not waste, when it comes to the goods around us – and give recycled goods the true value and repurpose they deserve.
International Day of Forests, Sunday 21 March
Too precious to lose……
The International Day of Forests celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests. On each International Day of Forests, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organise activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns. The theme for 2021 is “Forest restoration: a path to recovery and wellbeing”.
How will you mark the day?
Earth Hour 2021, 8:30pm 27 March
‘The hour of no power’ – let’s make the switch for nature and switch off our lights this at 8:30pm local time.
And not only that, on the night, why not take part in the first-ever Earth Hour “Virtual Spotlight” by sharing the Earth Hour video on your social media pages.
Not just a ‘day of the month’, but a decade! 2021 marks the start of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration
We can recover from our planetary, health and economic crisis. Let’s restore the planet this decade.
Investing in ecosystem restoration will help in healing individuals, communities and the environment. The aim of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, which starts this year, is to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems worldwide. It offers the prospect of putting trees and forests back into degraded forest landscapes at a massive scale, thereby increasing ecological resilience and productivity. Done right, forest restoration is a key nature-based solution for building back better and achieving the future we want.
Watch this trailer of Sir David Attenborough’s latest film ‘A Life on Our Planet’, urging us to put nature at the heart of our decisions.
If you can access Netflix, then you can watch the whole film. Even better, why not host an online or community screening? In this riveting documentary, he gives witness to the degradation of the Planet that he has observed throughout his unique life, but also sets out a hopeful vision of how we can reverse this. We have the way – all we need is the will.
Create a chic ‘bag for life’ out of old T-shirts. It’s a fun activity that saves clothes from going to landfill and helps reduce the use of plastic bags. Boomerang bags also make great gifts – win, win, win!
The impacts of plastic pollution on our environment and especially on our marine life are a very real concern. It is estimated that close to one billion single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags are used each year in in Queensland alone. While the majority of these bags end up in landfill, a significant number end up in the environment. When plastic shopping bags get into waterways and the ocean, animals such as sea turtles and seabirds can swallow or become entangled in them. As well as their environmental impacts, littered plastic shopping bags are unsightly, can clog up infrastructure, and are difficult and costly to clean up.
Taking Charge of you Health and Wellbeing – Planetary Health
Move from ‘me to we’! A great resource exploring how planetary health benefits not only the Planet but everyone on it.
Love the World
A beautiful activity to practice from Rick Hanson to help us love, appreciate and care for the world.
A ‘shout out’ to International Day of Happiness On 20 March!
Not strictly Planet-related, but we couldn’t let March go by without mentioning the UN International Day of Happiness. Keep calm. Stay wise. Be kind. Let’s find positive ways to look after ourselves, each other, and remember the Planet.
And a final ‘shout out’ for Neighbour Day – the last Sunday of the month. Neighbour Day 2021 will take place on Sunday 28 March, providing us all with an opportunity to recognise the strength we draw from our communities, and to continue to build creative connections within neighbourhoods and wider communities. Neighbour Day invites us all to get creative, reach out, and to encourage safe social connection
Connected people connect communities.
Please feel free to use all or parts of this newsletter for your websites, blog, social media, newsletter or other communications to inspire your group members