I know I’ve promised more on birds, bees and butterflies, but sometimes plans need to change. I happened to catch an interview yesterday with David Suzuki talking about the disconnection between kids and nature. No surprise, I was excited to hear one of my favourite Canadians talking about how important it is for kids to get out into nature.
For the month of May the David Suzuki Foundation is hosting a 30 X 30 Challenge to get Canadians (adults and children) to spend 30 minutes outside each day for the 30 days of May. I feel a bit sheepish that I did not even know this was going on, but it’s not too late to get on board and start spending your 30 minutes per day outdoors.
I highly recommend you listen to David’s 15 minute interview on CBC Q. One of the things I appreciate about David Suzuki is that he says what he feels and he ‘s not happy at all about the screen time kids are spending these days and parents fear of kids spending idle time outdoors. He quotes a statistic that the average Canadian child spends just 6 minutes doing outdoor activities a day, but spends 6 hours a day in front of a computer or TV. If that’s even partially accurate it is very alarming.
You know what he’s saying isn’t scripted when he talks about people plugging in “ear pods”. He debates the hypothesis that us urbanized humans are now an indoor species and argues (convincingly) that our evolutionary history means we still require movement and interaction with nature. Hear, hear.
This got me thinking about the time I spend outside, both on my own and with my daughter. Since having a child my time outdoors has probably increased overall, mainly because I’ve tried not to work full time while my daughter is young. My office job/computer time has been reduced, but my outdoor time has shifted towards a lot of time at playgrounds and less time in forests, mountains and farms (where nature really beckons). For me, gardening is a way of bringing nature into my city (aka everyday) life, but the whole world is a garden worth exploring.
I invite you to join the 30 X 30 Challenge and use it as an incentive to experiment with the positive effects regular connection with nature can have on you and your family. I’m going to try and enjoy at least a few of those 30 minute chunks out in the bigger gardens of our natural ecosystems. The perfect way to kick off summer.
Whether you are in the city or further afield, there is always nature to be found. (Some urban nature video inspiration below.) Enjoy the search and see you next week for bee and butterfly projects.
P.S. If you’re interested in this topic Last Child in the Woods is a great read.