#WorldEnvironmentDay #June5 #HowTo #Connect to #Nature

World Environment Day: Connecting people to nature
How do you connect to nature? That's the inspiration for the theme of the 2017 World Environment Day: Connecting People to Nature. How often do you connect with nature? Spending time outdoors can help de-stress after a hard day. The sun's rays can help fight depression, and many plants offer natural remedies for our many ailments. But what does a connection to nature mean to you? And do you connect often enough? There are ways that I connect to nature, and I hope you will share some of your own ways with me, by tweeting @PawsForReaction

World Environment Day: Connecting people to nature June 5

How I connect to nature


Exploring the outdoors and walking new trails is a favourite pastime of mine. You never know what you are going to see on the trail; a family of Canada geese, a friendly chipmunk, or a porcupine in a tree. I bring a bag along to pick up litter on my favourite trails, which is a way I connect very deeply with nature- by taking care of it. Protecting the environment forms my strongest bond with nature. Hiking inspired me in so many ways, but the most surprising thing that hiking has done is to inspire my sense of activism, and demand protection for the environment.

Nature photography

I really enjoy photo walks in the woods, at the cottage and in Ontario Parks. There is even beauty in my own backyard. Nature always provides. I can find beauty around every corner. Or new friends in the trees. I can zoom in close on some water droplets glistening on the leaves, each drop it's own ecosystem. I can capture a bird as it takes flight. As long as I have my Nikon around my neck, I can capture the wonders of nature to take home and admire over and over again. My camera lens allows me a special view into nature, and different perspective.
Through my dogs

Watching my dogs enjoy the outdoors gives me so much joy and makes my time outside even more enjoyable. They love swimming in the Golden Lake and running up the mountain at Shaw Woods. Watching Hazel run to the exact same puddle in the middle of the woods each time we walk there is proof to me that my dogs connect to nature just as much as I do.


Spending the night in the wilderness is the ultimate way to connect with nature. I love waking up to a chorus of frogs, birds and insects sounding off to announce the sunrise. Food tastes even better roasted over the open fire, with a beautiful sunset in the background. I love star-gazing at night in the forest. The sky is just so much fuller and brighter, each small speck of light making me feel insignificant in the vast universe. Camping can really put things into perspective, and reminds me how lucky I am to have such a high quality of life.

Spending time on the water

I love being on the water- the pure smell, the sound of the splashing tide on the shoreline, and the cool breeze across off the water. I love the sound of the canoe paddle cutting through the water. Canoeing, kayaking, fishing, swimming- all of my favourite summer activities involve the water. It's so important to protect the water from pollution. The increase in fracking for natural gas has cause many water sheds to become polluted. The world's oceans from carbon, and that carbon is warming the oceans. This kills corals that sustain ecosystems, and marine life that's life depend on specific water temperatures. Protecting the watersheds means lowing our energy consumption, because it has such a huge impact on the water. Climate change effects the water in so many ways, so we need to consume less to ensure clean water in the future.

World Environment Day: Connecting people to nature June 5


Growing my own food is another great way I connect to Mother Earth. I get to create something. I nurture and care for it; I become a steward of my land. Eventually it sustains me, to help me survive until the next harvest season. My vegetable garden allows me to connect with the lost art of homesteading. I provide for my family with what I grew in the Earth from seed. It is also very environmentally friendly. The food I grow is from local organic and non-GMO seeds. The food I grow doesn't use chemicals, pesticides or herbicides. The food I grow doesn't need to be shipped to a store, and if my carrots come out of the ground with 3 arms I eat them- I don't waste them. The food industry has a huge impact on global greenhouse gas emissions. Growing my own food lowers my carbon footprint.


I've recently taken up bird watching, which is strange because I'm pretty afraid of birds. Luckily my zoom lens allows me to admire birds from a safe distance. Once you start bird watching you notice them everywhere. I never noticed the tiny, almost invisible grey hummingbird zipping around my backyard, or the family of red-naped sapsuckers who visit my backyard trees for meals several times a day. Or the couple of house finches who reused a robins nest from last year to lay their eggs. While it's still very new to me, bird watching is an exciting way I can connect to nature.

Become environmentally conscious and scientifically literate

Once I started connecting to nature in those ways, I felt the urge to protect the wilderness that I was falling in love with. Becoming environmentally conscious became very important to me. What are the issues where I live? What are their solutions? I had to become scientifically literate, and educate myself properly by reading studies from both sides of the argument, and vetting them through peer review and knowing where their funding was coming from. Over time I began learning more about endangered species, climate science, pollution, consumerism and factory farming- the issues plaguing our environment. I came to understand the science that proves man-made climate change, which is the biggest issue our species is facing today. All of these problems threaten our connection to nature. I also learned about the solutions like wildlife conservation, renewable energy, minimalism and organic lifestyle. Taking the time to discover the threats that nature faced everyday connected me to Mother Earth in a more significant way, and it mobilized me to take action. Taking action connects me to the environment in a way I never expected. Paws for Reaction is about having a voice for the voiceless- animals and Mother Earth. That's how I connect to nature.

World Environment Day: Connecting people to nature June 5

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