33 Simple Things to Get You Reconnected With Nature

dragonfly perched on garden trellis“We are now in the mountains and they are in us kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us. Our flesh-and-bone tabernacle seems transparent as glass to the beauty about us, nether old nor young, sick nor well, but immortal.” — John Muir

One of the best things about Nature is that She is everywhere. Nature can touch our lives in ways big and small. And once we open the door to those experiences and the benefits they bring, we start to see our place in Nature differently.

Here are 33 ways you and your family can begin to reconnect with Nature today, tomorrow or whenever:

1.    Turn off your TV
2.    Plant a garden
3.    Eat lunch in a park
4.    Take a walk outside
5.    Put up a birdhouse
6.    Learn the names of the trees in your yard
7.    Take a break from Disney World and visit a National Park
8.    Keep a plant in your office
9.    Go swimming in an ocean, pond or lake
10.    Drink your morning coffee outside
11.    Let your kids play with worms
12.    Take five minutes each night and gaze up at the stars
13.    Go for a hike with your kids
14.    Start composting
15.    Put up a bird feeder
16.    Stop putting chemicals on your lawn
17.    Volunteer at a farm or local garden spot
18.    Pick up trash even if it isn’t yours
19.    Stop and smell the roses
20.    Practice walking meditation outside
21.    Get involved with a local environmental group
22.    Visit your library and read your child a book about Nature
23.    Go for a bike ride
24.    Stop checking email 5 times a day
25.    Skip some stones along the water
26.    Go camping or backpacking
27.    Swing by your library and read “Walden” by Henry David Thoreau
28.    Try your hand at rock climbing
29.    Keep a nature journal
30.    Make one night a week “picnic night” at a local beach or park
31.    Put down the Wii
32.    Give your kids the camera and send them outside (our 7-year-old snapped the photo of the dragonfly!)
33.    Meditate on the sacredness of all life

What will you do today?

Be well,
Bill

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Comments
11 Responses to “33 Simple Things to Get You Reconnected With Nature”
  1. Erik says:

    Hi everyone.

    An excellent list from Bill, I was able to check off 16 out off the 33 things to do to get reconnected, so would definately like to increase that number. On the other hand maybe it’s not too bad, my uncle checked off 3 !

    Anywho, just thought I’d like to share some of my nature images, they can be found in the website signature in this post or here; http://erikhaaland.com/#12.21.

    By the by, I have increased my hiking frequency as part of my broken hip rehabilitation, and went on an excellent trip today to a mountain top not to far from our home. The wife and kids are away until Sunday which gives me some extra opportunities to find new destinations to take the family.

    Thenewpursuit gives me inspiration to reconnect yet again with nature more than before, so thank you Bill !

    All the best to everyone.

    Erik, Norway.

  2. Bill Gerlach says:

    Hi Erik,

    Thanks so much for the comment and the link to your pics. Great stuff. I’m sure you can help your uncle along! ;-) My brother, oldest son and I are planning our summertime hikes in the White Mountains of New Hampshire now. Those are trips we look forward to each year. Good luck with the hip! Be well.

  3. Glenn says:

    What will I do today? Most of these- or I will attempt anyway. And that will make a difference.

  4. Bill Gerlach says:

    Glen — That’s the spirit. It’s not about a massive to-do list. It’s the overall journey that counts. Thanks for stopping through! Be well!

  5. Trees in our yard: Linden (3), Horse Chestnut, Weeping Beech (2), Fern-Leaf Beech (3), Copper Beech, Sycamore, Standard Beech, Black Cherry (2), Oak.

    We believe the trees were planted by an Irish immigrant who ran a livery service in Newport, R.I. Since he was collecting wealthy New Yorkers from the ferry and appreciated all the fabulous trees along Bellevue Avenue, he planted several on his farm: 100-plus years later, we’re in awe of them!

    Great post!

  6. Bill Gerlach says:

    Hey Suzanne, thanks for stopping by! You passed the “test”;-) That’s an impressive array — very nice. Trees are just such beautiful beings. I think if we all knew their ‘names’ and got to know them more, we would be more hesitant to cut them down. Be well!

  7. Raam Dev says:

    Loved this list! I would add: Try walking barefoot outside.

    It’s incredible how connected you feel with Earth when you walk barefoot (even if you’re walking on pavement, it’s still connecting you with the ground!). :)

    Another thing I love to do is lay on my back in the grass and gently grab a fist-full of grass… softly enough that I don’t tear it out of the ground, but enough to feel like I’m gripping it. Incredible feeling. I also like to pick up dirt with my bare hands and just sift through it, squeeze it, feel the texture.

  8. Bill Gerlach says:

    Raam // Great adds! Totally agree. There is something to be said about direct ‘skin-to-skin’ contact like that. That’s why I love to work in our vegetable garden — working the earth deeply, finding a way to connect and discover how we can mutually benefit each other. It is spiritual — for me anyway.

    It is these connecting points that I believe is the pathway to evolving (or rediscovering) our deep roots with the natural world. People need more of them more often. We need to become ‘eco-beings’ (again).

  9. Kathleen says:

    One of the things I’ve enjoyed the past nine years is volunteering for a program called Plants of Concern. We collect standardized data on populations of rare plants in our area and sometimes are inspired to help steward the area, clearing out invasive weeds and brush. The reward of seeing a native hepatica or trillium or even orchid is definitely worth getting your hands and boots muddy! : )

    Oh, and we have to learn the names of the plants that are ‘friends’ of the plants we monitor too. Sneaky way of keeping our aging brains awake and active. ; )

  10. Bill Gerlach says:

    Thanks for sharing, Kathleen! That sounds amazing. In our neck of the woods, the local Audubon Society chapter does an annual count of the wild bird populations. It’s awesome.

    You bring up a fantastic point: All that Nature outside remains nameless to us for the most part. What is nameless is not worth getting to know. Teaching ourselves and our kids the names of trees, plants and animals is a great way to start fostering that curiosity and appreciation for the wonders that are outside our door.

    Be well!

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