Ranger Kathryn's Arches

December 7, 2011

Nature deficit

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 9:37 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

You’re right to be concerned about your increasingly wired lifestyle.

A growing body of research on both children and adults documents the ill effects (physical, mental) of lack of adequate exposure to nature. Connection with the world — the earth, the water, the plants, the animals — isn’t optional. Award-winning author Richard Louv’s bestseller, Last Child in the Woods, explores the deep issues surfacing as fewer and fewer of the younger generation have contact with nature. Disturbing trends such as obesity, attention disorders, and depression appear to be linked to this nature deficit.

Let’s say you’re an adult, though, and your job keeps you in a hermetically-sealed office or a bland cubicle. Your mission, should you decide to accept it: brainstorm ideas that might help you bring a little nature into your day. A few possibilities:

  • Live plants in pots
  • A prescribed day outdoors weekly or monthly
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day” as your computer home page
  • Recorded sounds of bird calls in the background
  • Walking to work, or parking farther away and walking a few blocks
  • Screensaver pics of national park highlights
  • Small recirculating waterfall in office corner for stress reduction
  • Eating lunch outside
  • Vase of cut flowers from garden or farmers’ market
  • Smooth stones on your desk or windowsill that you can hold in your hand when you need a nature connection
  • A hummingbird feeder hanging just outside your window
  • Joining an outdoorsy-type club or organization that sponsors trips
  • Aromatherapy scented oil in outdoor fragrance (e.g., sage, balsam, etc)
  • A full-wall scene of a gorgeous outdoor view, in wallpaper form, to bring the outdoors in

Please don’t read this list and do nothing; pick an idea, or add a new one, and do something tangible to de-compartmentalize your life a tiny bit. Mingle your work world and the natural world.

What ideas have YOU incorporated into your daily life to bring you closer to nature? Please add suggestions!

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