My Green Two Cents

Eco-enthusiast Tanya Roberts blogs about green trends, issues and her favourite sustainable products.

Screen Time vs. Green Time

"The more high tech our lives become the more nature in our lives we will need" - Richard Louv

I was lucky enough to spend most of my childhood outdoors and most of my summers at camp. I would come home from school, do my homework and head outside until my parents would have to drag me inside for bed. The green space surrounding my neighbourhood was limited, but my imagination was not. My friends and I would build forts, splash around in our rain boots, play hide and seek, climb trees and pretend to fly. We were free to be kids. 

Today, kids simply don't seem to spend that much time outdoors. With the rise in new and exciting technologies, the popularity of video games, online virtual realities and a decline in the concept of nature as a playground, I often wonder what messages are being imparted to the next generation.

Making time for nature

"Nature needs time to reveal her secrets. The human agenda doesn’t have time for nature" - Dr. David Suzuki

A little while ago, I had the privilege to hear Dr. David Suzuki and Richard Louv speak about this very topic. I took away an important point—nature represents more than just a space, it represents an actual place in every person's heart, and that we need to protect this place and keep it accessible. While the reality is many of us have no choice but to spend our days inside for work or school, we do have a choice when it comes to our spare time. We need to recognize the importance of "unplugging" and getting outdoors.

Tips to unplug and stay active

There's nothing better than a little fresh air and sunshine to de-stress and re-energize. Here are some great reasons why you should unplug and get outdoors:

  • A Vitamin D deficiency can lead to a host of otherwise preventable health problems, and getting a dose of this sunshine vitamin has excellent benefits. Just make sure you follow proper sun care guidelines.
  • If you spend most of your time indoors, you are exposing your body to stale air. Fresh air is good for many things, making a more energized and healthy you.
  • Rather than getting your daily dose of exercise at an indoor gym, head outside! There’s just no comparison to the benefits of exercising alfresco.
  • Youth are the future!  And what better way to teach responsibility and a sense of stewardship than getting outside and enjoying the environment. Check out the Ontario Nature Guardians Program for fun ways to get youth outdoors and involved with preservation and conservation efforts. Nature Canada is also a great resource as well as The David Suzuki Foundation

Photo: iStockphoto.com/Photomorphic