Everyone Can Be an Environmentalist!
A deeper connection to Nature will lead us to take better care of the planet. In this blog post, Savandhi explains simple ways to connect more with Nature.
Being an environmentalist or environmental-lover doesn't necessarily have to be a field or career path. When I started studying the environment a few years back, I was learning Nature so deeply that it helped me to deconstruct how I had known Nature before and to perceive it in a new light. This new perception made caring for Nature come effortlessly; it became something I wanted to do instead of had to do.
I often think how amazing it would be if everyone, not just those who choose to study environment, were taught the same things. Not only would this help us to be stronger in the face of climate change and other environmental challenges, but it would also be a very relaxing and refreshing experience for each of us.
Here are 3 ways that I believe would help you to connect with Nature on a deeper level, which in turn, would motivate you to love and care for it better (and don't forget, Nature will definitely care for you in return!)
1. Spend more time with Nature
It is often so easy to get caught up in work, assignments or social media and stay glued to our screens. Indeed, given the current pandemic/ lockdown situations, there might be days when you barely leave your room the entire day.
But start letting Nature in. Remind yourself to do this often. It can be as simple as having your coffee outside (a great point Sydney made on her post about getting back to Nature), opening the windows, taking a short walk or taking pictures of Nature (flowers, birds etc.). This will help you to understand Nature in new ways and to have a deeper connection with it. Spending time in Nature is also very relaxing and is often my go-to when I am stressed out.
2. Do some little research (Google/ Social Media/ Documentaries etc.)
If there's anything that interests you about your environment, do some research. It could be the new bird you saw in your garden, a plant you'd like to have in your room, or even something about Nature that disturbs you. Take time to learn more about it.
A great way to learn more about Nature and various environment- related topics (anything from wildlife and Nature to environmental justice and green politics) is to follow and subscribe to relevant social media handles.
And don't forget, researching also includes watching a relevant documentary, listening to a podcast or reading a book! Florence has some great suggestions on environmental books!
3. Reflect/ Think back
Reflecting on how we spent our day is something most of us might be doing, for different purposes and in different ways. While this is generally a great practice for self- growth and for personal development, reflecting can also help us become more environmentally conscious and mindful about how we live.
Indeed, just asking ourselves the question 'What did I do for Nature today?' or 'When was I not being too mindful of my actions?', can help us become much more caring toward Nature over time. Setting goals for yourself might improve this process. For instance, you could set a goal to reduce your use of plastic bags during the week and reflect daily on how well you went about this goal. (Need tips on how to set goals? Check out Jenn's most recent blog post about setting eco-friendly goals)
Have a great week! Don't forget to share your thoughts in the comments!
Savandhi is a 3rd year Environmental Studies student at York University.
These days, she's busy getting back to the Winter Semester and following her new favorite past-time, taking bird pictures!