Activity Ideas

Environmental Wellness Activity Ideas for Senior Living Communities

August 9, 2023

Environmental wellness is one of the 7 Dimensions of Wellness — aspects of our lives that contribute to our overall sense of well-being. Life enrichment professionals can target the dimensions of wellness through their programming to help older adults live longer, more fulfilling lives.

Environmental wellness has to do with how we treat the environment we’re in, whether it’s natural or man-made. Making your community a more beautiful space, helping residents get out into nature, and finding more ways to reduce and reuse goods are all ways that you can boost environmental wellness. Read on for some activities to try with residents in your senior living community!

  1. Chalk Art Walk

This activity allows your residents to enjoy beautiful chalk art in outdoor spaces at your senior living community! Invite volunteers or even local artists to create chalk drawings on sidewalks and patios. This can easily be made into an intergenerational program by inviting youth volunteers. Provide your chalk artists with a theme, such as a holiday or a season. Important resident milestones, such as a 100th birthday, can also be celebrated. Then, schedule a “chalk walk” with your residents so they can see the art for themselves!

Image via CNN
  1. Create a Recycled Carton Bird Feeder

You’re probably hearing the sound of birds early in the morning these days. Maybe you can create some bird feeders with your residents to encourage them to come visit your community! 

This activity is both eco-friendly and fun, as residents can turn old milk cartons into functional bird feeders. The residents can decorate the cartons with colorful paints, stickers, and other materials to make them their own unique creations.


  • Several empty cartons of milk or juice (1L or 2L cartons). Make sure the cartons are rinsed well in warm water and dried.
  • A sharp pair of scissors or a knife
  • Poster paint or kindergarten paint (check that it’s a non-toxic paint)
  • A black marker and strong string
  • Plastic primer
  • Block sander to sand carton
  • 2 lengths of dowel rod 40cm each (15 inches each). You can also use straight sticks if you can’t find these! 
  • Bird seeds


  • Give each participant a recycled carton.
  • Demonstrate how to apply the primer and then distribute brushes and supervise the process. Let cartons dry for about 30 mins to 1 hour. 
  • Use a black marker to outline a small door on one side of each carton. 
  • Cut out the 'door' on 3 sides leaving the top attached. 
  • Cover masking tape around the door edges to make it smooth.
  • Apply primer over the masking tape. Leave to dry for about 30 minutes. 
  • Paint or decorate as you please! 
  • Make two small holes close to the bottom of the cartons just big enough to insert dowels.
  • With a skewer or a pair of scissors, make two holes at the top of the cartons to insert string.
  • Fill with seeds and hang high on a tree.

Note: It can take birds a couple weeks to find the seeds, so don’t be disappointed if they don’t come right away.

Image via Crayola
  1. Fly a Kite Program 

Harness the energy of the wind by hosting a fun kite-flying contest outside your community. You can make this a craft program and a contest activity afterwards by providing residents with kites to decorate. Then, seat residents on your backyard patio and have volunteers try to get the kites into the air before handing the kites back to your residents to fly.

Image via

  1. Start a Community Environmental Club

This is a great opportunity to get all of your residents who enjoy nature together (using Welbi’s hobby filter) and create your first Environmental Club, where residents can meet and discuss environmental issues. You can schedule the club to meet monthly and plan various types of activities for the club to participate in like a recycling program, a litter clean-up event, or a trash-to-treasure craft class. This might be a great opportunity to include and engage your maintenance or custodial team as well! The group can also plan fun events like a gardening party, seeding party, or a used goods sale.  

Image via Oak Park
  1. Design a Reusable Bag

Get crafty with your residents and help prevent the use of plastic bags by providing your residents with a canvas bag to decorate with markers, stickers, patches and more! You can also provide some walker bags for those residents who use walkers. Encourage them to bring them with them on errands, grocery runs, or for any other needs.

Image via Hello Wonderful

  1. Schedule a Visit to Your Local Farm or Farmers’ Market

From farm to table! Schedule a bus trip to go to your local farm or farmers’ market to learn about fresh seasonal produce. Encourage your residents to sample and buy local!

Image via Community Farmers Markets
  1. Upcycle Cans and Containers into Planters!

Ask your kitchen and dining staff to save those food cans for a craft program where residents can create their own canned planters. Get spray paint, construction paper, scissors, and any other craft supplies that will help them take that can from boring to fabulous!

Image via Project Kid

Did these activity ideas spark your creativity? Get more inspiration with these Summer Social Activity Ideas for Senior Living Communities!

Katie Stewart

Katie is a member of Welbi’s Customer Experience team! She has a background in communications and recreation and is passionate about older adults, exercise, coffee and people.

Holly Mathias

Holly is a member of Welbi’s Marketing team! She has a background in communications and marketing, and is a compassionate individual who loves team work, story telling, and wellness.

Wendy Riopelle

Wendy is a student in the Honours BA in English program at the University of Ottawa, where she has won numerous awards for her writing.

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