Getting Back to Nature
It is easy to become worn out by our fast-paced lifestyles. Often times the busyness of our lives pulls us away from nature. This creates a disconnect between ourselves and the planet we're all fighting so hard to protect. It may seem difficult to reconnect to the nature around us as we can't just drop everything and flee to the wilderness (no matter how badly we want to). There are ways in which we can restore our relationships with nature without sacrificing the lives we're used to. Assessing a variety of aspects of our lives (living space, food, and time spent outdoors) through looking for the presence of nature in our day to day allows us to incorporate more nature into our daily lives- improving our overall well-being and reminding us of why we’re so passionate about living low-waste and fighting the good fight against the climate crisis.
Connecting with nature and being in natural settings improves overall well being and sleep (which I firmly believe we can all use more of), and good news- there are numerous ways in which we can bring the outdoors in and make our living spaces more reflective of outdoor spaces.
Plants: You knew this was coming... plants are one of the easiest ways in which you can bring the outdoors in, caring for plants is environmental stewardship on a small scale so as not to overwhelm. Houseplants come in all shapes and sizes and it's super easy to find the right ones based on the amount of care you can provide (some of my personal favourites are snake plants which require very basic care and act as natural air purifiers).
Decor: Nature centred repurposed artwork is super easy to do yourself! One of the best DIYS I've come across is pressing flowers and placing them in thrifted frames in order to create a beautiful new piece of decor that brings nature into your living space. Using a similar technique in the fall to preserve coloured leaves would also create a natural and seasonal touch to your space!
Eat local: Eating local and buying local produce is a great way to appreciate the foods that are in season where you live. In doing this you cut back on packaging, emissions from transportation, and are eating fresher food and supporting your local farmers. Eating local is a great idea for your benefit as well as the planets'!
Grow your own: If buying local isn't an option for you, growing some of your own food is both budget-friendly and gives you a deeper sense of appreciation for where your food comes from. Even if you're low on space, growing small plants such as basil in a windowsill is super straightforward and incredibly rewarding.
Drinking your coffee outside: It sounds silly to say something so simple, but drinking your coffee (or any drink of choice) outdoors in the morning is an amazing way to kick off your day in nature. If you struggle to fit time for nature into your schedule, this is a great way to give yourself an extra few minutes a day breathing in fresh air and connecting with your environment.
Explore local gems: Spending more time outside doesn't have to mean camping trips every weekend (although that sounds like the dream). There are many ways in which you can escape to nature without going too far! I have found recently that you can find more wildlife in local parks than you may expect, just by taking the time to stop and look around a little longer can open your eyes to the wilderness in your backyard. Below is a lake in my hometown that I've been exploring since I was a kid, but taking a little extra time to hike a new trail and look at it from a different angle brought me a new perspective (literally) and a greater appreciation for the natural beauty around me.
Sydney loves the outdoors but can find a busy work/school life gets in the way of getting out there. In reflecting on her own experiences she came up with a few ways in which you can easily connect with nature in different aspects of your life.
This month Sydney has been tending to her vegetable garden, upcycling old textiles into masks, and working on finding low-waste swaps for common hygiene products!