“When we experience nature, we develop a deep sense of empathy and love for nature. When we love something, we care for it, we conserve it and we protect it.”Satish Kumar, environmental activist
Preserving and restoring our natural environments is crucial to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The Sustainable development Goals or the SDGs are the 17 goals agreed by all United Nations member states in 2015 to create a better world by 2030, by fighting inequality and addressing the urgency of climate change.
On a global level, the loss and degradation of habitats threatens the survival of many species and the climate’s complex equilibrium. On this Earth Day, we would like to highlight that preserving wild environments is not only important for the planet but also for our health and wellbeing. That the planet’s health and human health are actually too sides of the same coin, and that spending quality time outdoors is very good for both 🙂
Recently, the University of Exeter Medical School published research that showed that people spending two hours or more per week in nature were significantly more likely to report good health and life satisfaction. The research was conducted with almost twenty thousand people and the results were consistent across different key groups. The health and wellbeing improvement noticed was comparable to the ones derived from taking recommended levels of exercise, for example. The study suggests that weekly “nature exposure” could soon become an official social prescription.
Nature’s positive impact seems even more important when considering children’s development. Richard Louv, co founder of the Children and Nature Network, coined the term “Nature-Deficit Disorder” in 2005. Although it is not a medical diagnosis the term is used by Louv to emphasise the costs of raising children deprived from experiencing nature, relating it to the high rates of child’s obesity, stress and depression. Moreover, he suggests that nature-deficit might weaken ecological literacy and care of the natural world.
We agree with Louv that spending quality time in nature is crucial in developing environmental awareness, as we are less likely to care or to protect what we don’t know and don’t value. This is why here at BCG we currently looking for ways to increase children´s outdoor experiences and direct contact with our amazing natural surroundings.
¨It is easier in the wild to feel awe in the presence of a force greater than ourselves, though hard to explain to someone who has never felt the power of the wild why it is so essential to life. Anyone who has felt that power has no quarrel with a deep, lively impulse to preserve it.”Vincent Stanley, Director of Patagonia and co-author of the book “ The Responsible company”.
We hope that Earth day – and this post! – inspires you to schedule some “nature time” for you and your family next weekend!