Ways to Enjoy Nature While Social Distancing
Access to nature may become more and more difficult during this period of social distancing. Here are a few extras ideas to help you and your loved-ones access nature while staying indoors.
We know that getting into nature is excellent for your physical and mental health. Getting out of your house, while keeping 6 feet of distance from other people, avoiding crowds, breathing fresh air is exactly what you need during these stressful times. Experts say that we need to spend at least 20 minutes a day (and two hours a week) in nature. Access to nature may become more and more difficult during this period of social distancing. While medical experts continue to encourage people to go outside and spend some quality and social distanced time in parks, you may need more than those 20 minutes of outside daily time to feel connected to nature while spending time at home.
Here are a few extras ideas to help you and your loved-ones access nature while staying indoors.
Make your binge a nature binge
A lot of content is available to give you a nature fix in the comfort of your home. In addition to binging your favourite Netflix TV Shows, there is value in discovering more nature-focused content. Use this time as an opportunity to catch up on the Canadian Classic CBC’s Nature of Things the show spans a whopping 59 seasons and covers topics from Accidental Wilderness to the bees' secret life.
If you are into podcasts, you can listen to The Wild with Chris Morgan and explore how nature survives and thrives alongside (and often despite) humans.
If books are your jam, the University of Michigan Extension Forestry Team established a full list of perfect forest and tree books to help you manage your cabin fever.
Finally, what about catching up with the Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival? Some of the short movies showcased during this festival are available online for free and it would be a shame to miss any of them:
- Electric Greg explores a more environmentally-conscious way of adventuring—climbing 100 peaks without burning any fossil fuel.
- Good Morning is perfect for you if you love winter and want to enjoy some impressive skiing on the rooftops of a French resort!
- The Running Pastor will help you travel to the peaks of the Faroe Islands.
And for longer movies, check out ultramarathoner and trail runner Kilian Jornet 3 mountain documentaries available for free on his website.
Spy on nature from the comfort of your home
Nature continues to thrive while humans are stuck at home. With the help of technology, you can have a closer look at wildlife animals, zoos, aquariums and even go walk in provincial parks without disturbing nature. No one will even notice you’re peeking.
Animal lovers can spy on their favourite animals in the wild, thanks to livecams placed all over the world.
- Explore livecams lets you get close to a wide variety of animals and stay with them all day while they are in nature. Pick your own adventure time! You can spend time with Brown Bears fishing for salmon, Decorah Eagles while they are nesting, or penguins spending time at the beach.
- Some aquariums are live streaming jellyfish and sharks.
- Finally, our favourite park in Vancouver set up a Heron Can to let you watch the Pacific Great Blue Herons live during their nesting season.
If you want to discover Canada’s National Parks, now is the time. Take a virtual walk and visit parks anywhere in Canada. Once you’ve had your fill of Canadian content visit US National Parks through National Park Services’ virtual tour.
Keep kids occupied with nature
Let nature be a teacher while the kids are out of school:
- Follow these instructions to create your own terrarium with your kids.
- Now is the perfect time to plant seedlings. Here are 7 DIY seed pots you can create using common household items and some good tips to help you care for your plant seedlings while they are still indoors.
- To root your homeschooling in nature, look no further than, BEETLES (Better Environmental Education, Teaching, Learning & Expertise Sharing). Developed by science and environmental educators, the lessons suggest outdoor and indoor science learning experiences.
Protect nature from home
Even if you are stuck at home, there are lots of things to help protect our natural world for future generations.
- If you are lucky enough to have your own backyard, and you can become an INaturalist.Contribute to biodiversity science, from the rarest butterfly to the most common backyard weed, all from the comfort of your home.. Watch this video to learn how to set up your backyard project to become the perfect INaturalist.
- Join a citizen science project with the Zooniverse. Join the penguins watch, become a gravity spy, identify raccoons or to help scientists identify black holes and new galaxies in space. There are all kinds of Zooniverse projects and by joining any of them you will help scientists from all over the world carry on their research.
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