I enjoyed my last environmental challenge so much (see Project 333) that I decided to do another challenge and share it with you! This time it’s just one month, and the challenge is “30×30”, by the David Suzuki Foundation.
The official rules are that every single day for a month, I’ll spend 30 minutes outside. Rain or shine! Officially this is supposed to be 30 minutes of being in nature, not just outside, with electronics put away. The David Suzuki Foundation recommends activities varying from reading or colouring outdoors, to walking the dog, to playing an outdoor sport. You can’t rack up six hours of outdoor time on the weekend and have it count for the rest of the week, though: you have to get outside EACH day for it to count!
Benefits of Nature Exposure
Being in nature has been shown to boost mood, increase immune system function, restore attention, increase memory attention, and reduce anxiety. You can’t say that about sitting on a couch watching TV!
I live very near to downtown in an apartment, and work downtown. I frequently walk to and/or from work but only about half my walk really counts as “nature” with tree-lined streets to satisfy the benefits of nature exposure. The rest is pretty much a concrete jungle! So I’ll have to find some time each day to be in nature on top of my walk.
Tips and Tricks
As I mentioned, I’m lucky to live close enough to work to walk both ways, so I’ll be making myself skip the bus and take the feet more than usual! If you don’t live that close to work, consider whether you can park a bit farther away and walk the last few blocks of your commute instead. I’ll be taking my lunch out on the green roof of my building sometimes – or wandering to find new pocket parks close by! Downtown may feel like a concrete jungle to me, but I know that just a few minutes’ walk away is Central Park, or the little Japanese Garden, or I can hop on a free shuttle and wander the Forks. You may be surprised at the green spaces near your home or work (and yes, your backyard counts!). Here’s a helpful map of all the parks in Winnipeg
Live elsewhere in Manitoba? Here’s maps and lists for a few other municipalities:
- Steinbach: http://www.steinbach.ca/locations/
- Selkirk: http://myselkirk.ca/parks-recreation/recreation-facilities/outdoor-facilities/
- Brandon: http://brandontourism.com/parks-and-pathways/city-parks
- Portage la Prairie: http://www.portagelaprairie.worldweb.com/SightsAttractions/ParksGardens/
- Thompson: http://www.thompson.ca/index.aspx?page=117
- Churchill: http://everythingchurchill.com/about-churchill/park-areas/
I’ll be enjoying some time in our Provincial parks as well: we have a wealth of wild nature to explore! Here’s a great resource to get your adventure bug active: http://www.gov.mb.ca/sd/parks/.
I’ll be doing this challenge for the month of May, but you can do it at any time of the year! Will you join me?