The quality of nature means the world to us, literally. It provides much more than scenic walks and beautiful sunsets, we depend on it for clean air, a safe water supply, and the food we eat too. We have nature to thank every single day for our existence.
In this day and age, 80% of the earth’s surface is marked by human activity, and our growing rates of reproduction and consumption lay a heavy burden on our home planet. A good example of how our impacts have increased, is our food consumption, which has risen 170% over the last four decades.
It’s impossible to reciprocate for everything that our natural world provides for us, but consciously working to help offset environmentally damaging actions and towards the restoration of our natural environment is hugely important. Gaining a greater understanding as to how we can reduce our impacts that disrupt nature’s cycles – such as exhausting natural resources, generating waste and pollution, excess consumption, and disrupting natural habitats – is a great place to start. A simple online search offers great ideas of how you can make ecologically friendly improvements to your diet, lifestyle or workplace, or even get involved in issues that affect us all. But there is also a unique way of giving back, with resonating effects: getting out in nature.
This is a huge part of what motivated Genuine Health to become a founding sponsor and avid participant in the 30 x 30 challenge. We feel it promotes perhaps the most important way to inspire us to actively give back- by connecting us with the natural world. The majority of Canadians (80%!) live in urban centers and are physically distanced from nature. Worse yet – we are cognitively detached. Spending time outside reminds us that we are a part of nature and depend on healthy ecosystems as much as every creature that walks the earth.
Spending time outdoors reminds us that we belong there and are a part of it – everyday. Any effort to immerse oneself in nature restores our connection to it– so that the realities of how we are impacting our planet aren’t thought of as “somebody else’s” problem. We feel that this challenge renews our commitment to reconnecting with the primordial rhythms, patterns and origins that exist in each and every one of us.
Plus – we have fun! This challenge brings us together as a company, to get our hands dirty, working to help restore our natural environment. Our head office may be located downtown in Canada’s largest city, but each year we work to bring nature closer to city dwellers like ourselves and help to protect the ecology of urban greenspaces. For the 4th consecutive year, we will be planting trees in the Greater Toronto Area to improve the quality of our local ecology. This year we’ll be spending a day planting in Rouge Park – a 40km sprawling parkland that houses a variety of ecosystems. Our Western team also gets down and dirty, by volunteering in removing an invasive English Ivy that threatens the biodiversity in Stanley Park in Vancouver, for the third consecutive year.
Revisiting our innate connection with the natural world as much as possible has powerful benefits for the future of our planet – plus, the benefits are mutual. Getting outside, rolling up your sleeves provides a variety of physiological benefits, making your heart feel great literally, and figuratively!