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Take 12 Steps for Health

Take 12 Calendar


November 2015

Step 11: Resource Harvest

Harvest and sustain the resources around you by reducing, reusing, recycling and repurposing.

Making Healthy Strides

  • Give Back: Give back your trash by recycling! A list of recyclable items in Fairfax County is available at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/living/recycling.
  • Go Green: Store your food sustainably with glass instead of plastic containers. Glass food containers avoid a host of toxins, like BPA and phthalates, which can leech into food from conventional plastic containers. Going plastic-free is not only healthier for you, but it will also reduce our planet's plastic burden.
  • Get Active: November 15th is America Recycles Day! Take the Pledge to recycle and get your business or community involved too – more at americarecyclesday.org.

Reuse and Recycle with Creativity

Whether you are giving a gift or making an eco-friendly change, you can be creative with how you reuse and recycle resources. Here are seven ways that you can do just that, which are also friendly on your wallet.

  1. Create a Note Pad
    Set up a bin for scrap pieces of paper such as left over craft sheets, one-sided printed paper, and old flyers. When the container gets full, cut the paper into a quarter of the original size, and use a paper clip or staple to fasten the top corners together for a brand new note pad or day planner.
  2. Buy Reusable Grocery Bags instead of Gift Bags
    Most retail stores have a selection of reusable bags. These bags are usually pretty inexpensive, and typically cost less than gift bags or wrapping paper.
  3. Grow a House Plant That Can be Easily Separated
    Houseplants such as jade or aloe, even the spicy chilies, can be easily separated into smaller pots and serve as gifts for friends and family. Gardening doubles as a huge stress reliever, and often yields a great sense of satisfaction. Not to mention, plants also improve the air quality, and are fun to watch grow.
  4. Use Citrus Peels to Freshen Air
    Instead of throwing away peels from citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit, put them inside the garbage disposal and run it. Make sure that you do this with just peels! This will keep your kitchen smelling fresh!
  5. Use Household Materials for Crafts
    Instead of throwing away toilet paper rolls, plastic cups and utensils, and cardboard backing on pads of paper, keep them for crafts for the kids. Fill a box with these items and let the kids choose their materials to make creative things. Plus, you’ll be passing along these green practices to our children!
  6. Eat a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
    Every now and then, replace a meat and potatoes meal with a non-meat option. If every American traded one chicken-based meal every week for a vegetarian option like PB & J, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as removing half a million cars from the roads in the United States.
  7. Clothing Swap
    Everyone has clothes that they never wear anymore, so plan a party with friends to swap out clothing. This is a great way for everyone to get some new items without breaking the bank.

Source: recyclingfacts.org

What Do the Numbers Mean?

Get in the Loop

Recycling is good for many reasons, including natural resource conservation, reducing landfill need, preventing pollution, saving energy and creating jobs. The recycling process begins when individuals place recyclable products and packages in a recycling bin. The second step is when a company processes those recycled materials and creates new products. Finally, consumers close the loop by buying recycled material. This final step restarts the cycle and ensures the success and value of recycling.

Collection and Processing - Recycling collection occurs nationwide and depends on community participation. Recycling varies by community, but most recyclables are collected curbside or through drop-off centers, buy-back centers, or deposit/refund programs. After collection, recyclables go to a materials recovery facility (MRF) to be sorted and prepared for market. Recycled materials are like any commodity, so prices for the materials change and fluctuate with global market demand and quality of the raw materials.

Manufacturing - Raw materials, such as fiber, metals, plastics, and glass are then used to make new products. Many of these will become the same product in what is known as closed-loop recycling. For example, glass, aluminum, and steel can be used to make new bottles or cans. Many fibers, such as those from cardboard, are used to make new boxes. And most common household items contain some recycled materials. For example, recycled plastics are turned into new bottles, but they can also be made into carpeting, park benches, and fibers for clothing.

Buying Recycled Products - The recycling loop depends upon governments, businesses, and consumers choosing to purchase products and packaging with recycled content. The decision to "buy recycled" closes the recycling loop. Some products, like aluminum and steel cans, can be recycled again and again, while others, like paper, may be recycled once into bathroom tissue and then reach the end of its life. However, it is always important to buy recycled products to keep them "in demand" and support the recycling cycle.

Source: Keep America Beautiful




Healthy Strides Race, Expo Presented NACo Award

Achievement Award Winner

The Fairfax County Park Authority’s Healthy Strides Community 5k/10k Race and Healthy Strides Expo will receive a 2015 Achievement Award next month at the National Association of Counties (NACo) 2015 Annual Conference and Exposition. NACo’s annual awards program is designed to recognize innovative county government programs, and the Healthy Strides event is being honored in the Parks and Recreation category.

Take 12 Steps for Community Health

Download Your

Take 12 Steps for Community Health in 2015 Calendar

Download 2015 Calendar

Download 2014 Calendar

12 Months, 12 healthy goals. Don't miss out on this year's great community wellness opportunities in the Fairfax County community! The calendar contains fitness and wellness tips, ways to improve your nutritional habits, and better health ideas for kids, teens and adults. Also, the calendar contains coupons to use throughout the year. STEP UP to better health!

The Take 12 program is free and anyone can participate at any time. This program is designed to:

  • Help you accomplish healthy goals each month, with tips to keep you going for the duration.
  • Give you access to information - free workshops are available each month on different healthy topics and bulletin boards loaded with information are posted at all the RECenters.
  • Provide an opportunity for you to experience fitness and wellness programs offered across Fairfax County.
  • Empower you to make important lifestyle changes... you can do it!
  • Plus, sign-up to receive the monthly e-newsletter, packed with recipes and healthy tips, upcoming events, and opportunities to achieve your Take 12 goals!
2016 Healthy Strides Community 5k/10K, Burke Lake Park, April 23, 2016
2015 Healthy Strides Community Expo, Burke Lake Park, April 25, 2015
Healthy Strides Save the Date 2016 - Community 5K/10K April 23; Expo April 22

We are seeking support from local businesses and organizations for Take 12! Steps for Community Health in 2015. Our participants are the same people your business is looking to attract. Take advantage of this opportunity.



Healthy Workshops and Events are always being added!
Check our events calendar often for great opportunities in the community.

All events are free (unless indicated with a "$") and require advanced registration.
To register, please email Take12@fairfaxcounty.gov.


We are looking for people who have used the Take 12 program and found better health as a result of their participation. We are also looking for any kind of feedback about the program - the calendar, events, workshops, tips, articles - anything that you want to tell us, we're listening! Email us at Take12@fairfaxcounty.gov.


Take 12 Newsletter


Email: Take12@fairfaxcounty.gov
Phone: 703-324-8423

Mailing Address:
Fairfax County Park Authority
Attn: Take 12 Program
12055 Government Center Pkwy, Suite 425
Fairfax, VA 22035-1118

All content within www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/rec/take12/ is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. Always consult your doctor if you are concerned about your health. Always consult your physician or health care provider before taking any new medication, beginning any program of exercise, or following any health or wellness advice contained herein.

Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
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