VanDyk Mortgage - July 2020


As more people opt for online shopping, the number of home deliveries is skyrocketing. Almost every item ordered comes in its own cardboard box, and nearly 20% of these boxes end up in landfills, while the other 80% require significant amounts of energy to recycle. Here are four ways to reuse those boxes instead of just tossing them out. Garden Bed Starters Because cardboard boxes are loaded with carbon and not contaminated by many other chemicals, they’re great for starting new plants or flower beds. They help reduce weeds and protect weak or young plants from the elements, and when the carbon in cardboard combines with the nitrogen in the dirt, a nutrient- rich soil emerges for plants to flourish in. Compost Clean corrugated cardboard — what most Amazon boxes are made of — is another great source of useful carbon. Cut your boxes into pieces and place them in your compost pile so the carbon combines with the nitrogen from food scraps. The process helps break the pile down into nutrient-rich humus for healthy soil. Toys or Art Supplies Kids tend to play with the box their new toy came in rather than the toy itself for a reason. Cardboard boxes spark creativity, and the possibilities are endless! Boxes can be used as forts, spaceships, building blocks, art canvases, and more. Empty boxes can provide hours of fun with a little help from a vivid imagination. Storage Boxes are meant for holding items, so use empty ones to organize a cluttered garage or attic or safely store less frequently used items like winter jackets or holiday decorations. If the brown cardboard aesthetic on a shelf just won’t cut it, paint the boxes or wrap them in eye-catching gift wrap, then label them. If you’re not sure how you want to use your boxes, just hold on to them until you’re ready. The beauty of cardboard is that you can break it down, store it easily, and reconstruct the boxes later when you find a use for them.




out virtually, participants have more freedom and flexibility in their routines without missing out on any of the social interaction that makes it fun.

A lot of people struggle to keep up with a regular wellness routine because they lack accountability to hold them to it. Whether it’s exercise, meditation, or healthy eating, if you go through the process alone, it’s that much harder to will yourself to see it through. But at a time when isolation is still one of the best ways to stay healthy, how can you involve others in your wellness plan? The answer is simple: Create a virtual wellness challenge! UNDERSTAND THE PROCESS A wellness challenge cultivates healthy competition among participants that keeps them motivated to stick with their wellness regimens. Challenges can be fully customized depending on the goals and abilities of those participating, and when the challenge is carried

GET STARTED Every challenge should have a quantifiable goal depending on the theme. Challenges like working out for 30 minutes a day, getting seven hours of sleep at night, eating 1 cup of leafy greens with every meal, or meditating for 15 minutes every day are all great examples. Whatever it is, the target should be clear and reasonable in order to encourage maximum participation and low burnout.

STAY ACCOUNTABLE Treat the challenge like you would a weekly book club. Set a time every week to meet via a video call to share wins and setbacks, discuss necessary changes to the challenge, plan for the next week’s challenge, and offer encouragement. If you really want to up the inspiration, determine a prize to be awarded to the person who actively participates the most. Just be sure you have a tangible way to record and share those results, like video evidence of the activity. A wellness challenge shared among friends and family is a great way to work on your physical or mental well-being and stay connected with loved ones when you aren’t able to visit them in person. That kind of consistent personal connection can be wellness in and of itself.

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