With international global earth day fast approaching, it is only natural to talk about our environment and how to connect more with the outdoors. Many African-Americans shy away from outdoor activities for various reasons. The sad reality is in part that we have abandoned our responsibilities to the environment and in return, we are suffering for it.
Global warming and climate change are scary things to think about. If we keep treating global warming as if it is only a theoretical concept and not in fact a real thing, then we are setting ourselves up for a rude awakening. The earth is our home and if we do nothing to save and protect nature, our future generations will only hear stories of the forests and nature trails that we still have the privilege of enjoying today. Sad!
The best way to understand and appreciate the environment is, of course, to go out and experience the magic of nature. The serenity and peace of nature will silence your mind, speak to your soul, and relax your body. Being in nature will allow you to open your mind to new things and can even help you develop the ability to look at things from a different perspective. So how do you connect with nature?
Talk a walk outside
It doesn’t matter how far you walk, all that matters is for you to expose yourself to the outside. The fresh air, sun, snow, and rain can improve your connection to nature and improve your productivity. Go an extra mile to remove your shoes and kiss the earth with your feet. You’ll realize what you’ve been missing and how much you want to stay a little longer. You can also stop and smell flowers while you are at it. There really is no limit to you exploring the natural world out there.
Bring nature inside
Having plants in your house or office is also a great way to appreciate nature. Planting flowers and kitchen veggies help spruce up your space while giving you the benefits of the plant itself. There really is no better way to connect with nature than playing with the dirt. Feeling the richness of the earth on your fingers as you tend to your plants can be very therapeutic and cleansing? … and it doesn’t stop there, if you want to take it to the next level, you can add some crystals, a jar of shells, pinecones or other earthly décor into your space for that constant connection to nature.
Take a road trip to the countryside
Not only will you make memories with your loved ones, but you also have a chance to go site seeing and discover some amazing outdoor places you never knew existed. Road trips are always a good way to get out of the grind of daily life and to literally transport yourself into nature and to the peace and tranquility nature offers. Countryside road trips are a great way for you to reconnect with the environment while you spend precious time with your loved ones.
Visit parks, nature trails or the zoo
It is on most people’s bucket list to travel the world and see exotic animals. Well, before you get there, start by visiting parks that are closer to you. Local parks and zoos are typically inexpensive to visit for the budget conscious among us and you get a lot of “bang for your buck” through the many free programs offered in these destinations. In addition, visiting nearby parks and zoos helps promote local tourism and the local economy which you in turn as a resident benefit from.
Participate in outdoor activities
As discussed earlier, outdoors activities are a cool way to get you out into nature. Find out activities such as camping, hiking, swimming, cycling, mountain climbing, camping, and fishing among others that you enjoy participating in and that will get you outside. Finding a way to combine your hobbies with the outdoors is an ideal way to connect with nature and to have fun.
There is no limit to the types of activities you can pursue to appreciate and connect with nature. If this seems like a stretch, you can start small by taking a walk, also including your friends and family in your outdoor activities will make your experience more fun and memorable. Reconnecting with nature is a personal journey and one we encourage you to start today.
PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners.