Author: Jennifer McMillan
There are so many ways nature can help us through challenging times. Planet Ark's research, ‘Adding Trees - A Prescription for Health, Happiness and Fulfilment’, examines how time in nature enhances and grows the key areas in life that Australians consider the most important for a fulfilling life – health, happiness, learning, relaxation and relationships. Now is the time to reconnect and rejuvenate with nature and we have a few tips on how to bring nature indoors to improve health and happiness.
While it’s not quite the same as physically being in nature the upside is you can go anywhere. Take a virtual trek through Everest Base Camp, The Galapagos Islands and The Great Barrier Reef – all in one day.
Use the extra time at home and get into the garden. Get creative with what you have at home with old mugs, tins and containers - upcycle old unused items and give them a new life by turning them into planters. If space is limited work on a herb or vegetable garden and enjoy the satisfaction of watching your food grow.
Do your bit for science and feel part of the community from your own backyard (or window). Help protect Australia’s birds from your own backyard with birdata.
Planet Ark’s research shows nature induces positive feelings through a number of physiological mechanisms, including activating the brain’s dopamine reward system. It’s a tough time for kids, we have a number of activities to keep them occupied and focused on nature. Head to the National Tree Day Toolkit and download the activity sheets to build an enviro diorama, make a mini herb garden with your mini or unjumble letters to find the names of native Australian trees and shrubs in the tree anagram.
It’s a more important time than ever to reach out and connect with the people around us. Here at Planet Ark we have channels to share our favourite podcasts, documentaries, stories and photos of nature with each other. Set up a group channel, check in with colleagues and motivate each other through this time.
Jennifer joined the Planet Ark team to support the 2018 National Tree Day campaign. With a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Master’s degree in Journalism, she is passionate about science communication with a focus on multimedia storytelling. Prior to joining the Planet Ark team she travelled to Jordan as a foreign correspondent. She works as a vet nurse in her spare time!
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