Tag Archives: environment

WHAT IS ‘NATURE DEFICIT DISORDER’ (AND CAN IT BE CURED)?

Many kids today are suffering from what Richard Louv calls “nature deficit disorder,” because they spend so little time there. Studies show that a caring connection to nature may predict how we treat each other and the natural world around us.

Why Kids Need to Get Outside

Researchers at Cornell found that, when children before the age of 11 spend time hiking, camping, hunting and/or fishing, they grow into adults who care more about the environment than those who don’t.

kids-on-a-trail

Other research has found that spending time outside helps the brain to recover from overload. It has a restorative effect on the brain, reducing stress. This type of restoration plays a role in people’s actual enjoyment of nature, too. Researchers have found that kids in schools with play yards that had more natural elements had more pro-nature attitudes, which were tied to more pro-environmental behavior.

Children naturally seem to identify with animals and nature from a young age. Parents can encourage these connections and love of animals by introducing them to wildlife in their area, bringing a pet into the home, visiting nature and game preserves, and reading them stories that feature animals and nature in positive ways. Children who develop empathy for animals tend to be more caring towards people, too.

There’s a lot, of course, we don’t know about what makes kids want to protect the environment. But surely we can’t do any harm by simply making sure our kids get outside. We do know that we all benefit from such exposure, from improvements to physical health to feelings of serenity and mental well-being.

In the end if our kids also end up turning out the lights more or growing up to feel more responsible for our environment, all the better!

 

 

Design for Bio-Diversity in Your Home Garden

Our ability to feed ourselves, find water, breathe oxygen, is dependent on a bio-diverse environment. The bio-diversity of our planet is declining at an alarming rate due to habitat loss. Human activity is the main reason behind this loss, which is actually good news, because this puts us in a position to do something about it.

Our suburban home gardens are part of an integrated ecological system that either supports bio-diverse habitats that contribute to a healthier, more life sustaining planet or degrades and accelerates its decline. In other words the decisions you make about your home garden has consequences.

Here are some of the gardening practices and landscape design considerations you can adhere to in order to support more bio-diversity and expand a more hospitable habitat for all life on this planet.

  • Design your garden to be hospitable to birds, pollinators and beneficial insect populations by selecting plants that attract and support them.
  • Incorporate plants native to the area to better support native species of wildlife that are dependent on these plants for their survival.
  • Add water to your garden, either through the use of a birdbath, a fountain, a rain garden or a watergarden.

 

 

 

 

  • Limit the use of pesticides in the garden by attracting more beneficial insects
  • Dill, parsley, carrots, chives, basil, and onions are some of the plants you can use in your vegetable garden to repel harmful pests without the use of pesticides.
  • Planting poly-cultural vegetable and flower gardens is an effective way of controlling outbreaks of harmful fungus diseases and destructive insect populations.
  • If pesticide use becomes absolutely necessary opt for those that are the least harmful to beneficial insect populations, pollinators, and wildlife. Insecticidal soaps and horticultural oils are far less damaging to the health of the environment.