The compelling reasons kids need nature were explained factually and forcefully by Richard Louv in Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder (affiliate link). In fact, that book inspired major new efforts to reconnect kids with nature including Children & Nature Network, National Wildlife Federation’s Green Hour, and No Child Left Inside.
Louv reaches new ground out in his next book, The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age (affiliate link). He uses anecdotes as well as groundbreaking research to demonstrate why we need to balance our use of technology with the restorative powers of nature. He cites seven overlapping principles to show that humanity can truly thrive when in partnership with nature.
- The more high-tech our lives become, the more nature we need to achieve natural balance.
- The mind/body/nature connection will enhance physical and mental health.
- Utilizing both technology and nature experience will increase our intelligence, creative thinking, and productivity, giving birth to the hybrid mind.
- Human/nature social capital will enrich and redefine community to include all living things.
- In the new purposeful place, natural history will be as important as human history to regional and personal identity.
- Through biophilic design, our homes, workplaces, neighborhoods, and towns will not only conserve watts, but also produce human energy.
- In relationship with nature, the high-performance human will conserve and create natural habitat—and new economic potential—where we live, learn, work, and play.
Nature isn’t somewhere else and Louv’s books are a must-read. Take them outside with you and enjoy them while the kids play.
The future will belong to the nature-smart—those individuals, families, businesses, and political leaders who develop a deeper understanding of the transformative power of the natural world and who balance the virtual with the real. The more high-tech we become, the more nature we need." ~ Richard Louv