We are familiar with the idea that people are spending less and less time in nature but more alarmingly to me is the lack of conscious awareness about the link between spending time in nature and sustainability.
In Australia, there is a lot of talk about sustainability and the new National Curriculum for schools includes sustainability as a cross cutting theme. The curriculum framework has three components:
• Sustainability action process
• Knowledge of ecological and human systems
• Repertoires of practice.
What about the stuff that comes before these things?! Before the action and before knowledge, before innovation i.e. the experience of nature, noticing the small things and valuing the connection. How can we imagine sustainability and how to approach it when we aren’t even sure about the thing that we are trying to sustain?
We know that emotional connections with nature increase actions that are pro sustainability. Emotional connections come through direct experience. It stands to reason then that we should be placing equal value into spending regular and quality time interacting with the natural world and talking about its value in conversation with each other and to our kids as we do to topics such as saving water, recycling plastics..
What do you think? Is this important?
To answer this question, lets imagine some scenarios that might happen if we stop teaching and demonstrating to each other including our kids the value of being in nature……