Look around you. What is it that you see, occupying the spaces around you? For nearly 60% of the world population that will be in an urban space – a built-up city with high-rise buildings, blocks of apartments, and rows of skyscrapers. The percentage of the world population living in urban areas increases year upon year and will continue to do so. Although, the variety of diverse natural environments found across the globe is astonishing. Here is why nature is the most important place you need to be, whether that be for a few weeks, a few days, or a few minutes.
Imagine what could be around you – forests, lakes, deserts, mountains, hills, orchards, springs, valleys. An individual’s connection to nature is crucial and unparalleled. It has the power to revitalize, inspire, heal, protect, and most importantly ensure his survival. Many people don’t understand its importance or how much of a direct impact it has on the lives of nearly 8 billion people. They also don’t understand the need to protect and preserve nature, and most importantly the power it has for an individual. In a world full of flashing screens and Zoom conferences, nature is the place you need to find and confide in.
Travel to Nature
The phenomenal natural environments across the world are endless, but aside from traveling internationally, traveling locally and even within your own city is crucial to explore that what is close to you. Take advantage of it, all the hidden walks, the hills, the endless rows of trees. City-dwellers have little excuse, there is nature both hidden, inside, and sometimes just outside of a city. Across European cities, an average of 40% of the spaces are covered by nature, so find those spaces. There’s New York’s infamous Central Park, the stunning Bukhansan National Park in Seoul, Korea, the endless greenery in Thimphu, Bhutan, and the dense forests in Medellin, Colombia. Explore your surroundings slightly further, for slightly longer, alone or with company. In the wake of growing technology and innovation, nature still remains as important a place to be as ever. Seeing the world from behind a screen is not the same as experiencing it, no matter how real those virtual tours feel.
Nature and Your Mental Health
Nature’s restorative, calming, and healing powers are referred to in poetry, stories, and music, for a good reason. Being amongst nature promotes harmony and balance, both crucial for building and strengthening an individual’s mental health. It is important to take time to be within nature, to build your connection with the natural surroundings. This could be 5 minutes, 5 hours, or 5 days. The environments and landscapes across the world are rich and diverse, with 195 countries and hundreds of thousands of natural places within them. Find hot springs in Iceland, luscious valleys in Pakistan, and vast rainforests in Costa Rica.
Preservation of Nature
Preserving and protecting nature is as important as exploring, and something which is not as widely understood. 7.8 billion people rely on nature for resources, materials, accessibility, food, and shelter. Planting trees, protecting wildlife, maintaining natural environments, and preserving rare and threatened species are all vital to its sustainability. The different elements within nature rely on and interact with each other, and human action at unsustainable rates has caused mass destruction and environmental degradation. This in turn is affecting people’s livelihoods and environments drastically, so it is essential to support the preservation and maintenance of natural environments. Take a look at Ecosia who has planted 113 million trees, or the projects in Greece protecting endangered species, or the protection of marine environments and wildlife in Sri Lanka. Contribute and support where you can and learn about the importance of protecting and preserving nature. Preserve nature in your own home, in your garden, your balcony, or the spaces around you. Plant new things, encourage wildlife, and protect the green spaces that surround you.
Nature for Creativity
The world’s artists and designers have been inspired by nature, even more so from the drastically changing state of nature that we are now seeing. Flash flooding, wildfires, and ice sheets melting, all indicating that nature is changing around us and occurring at larger, more frequent scales. Nature simultaneously builds harmony and strength, protects communities and biodiversity, and serves as a source of creativity and inspiration. Solutions, green-based projects, and art, all work at intertwining creativity with nature. Look at the incredible 22-meter high Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, artificial supertrees embedded in nature, or the intertwining of nature with urban spaces in One Central Park in Australia, where a park extends up onto a building and creates vertical gardens, connecting the place with nature, or the Vancouver convention center in Canada, that holds four beehives and a six-acre garden of indigenous plants on its roof.
Nature is endless, both in its landscapes and elements and in the importance of it for people. Explore further, visit new places, revisit old ones, travel across countries, and within your own city. Most importantly, protect nature and understand its importance in the survival of the billions of people across the world. Without rivers, rainforests, valleys, and mountains, the world would not be as vivid or as dynamic a place.