Wednesday marked the 50th annual Earth Day and this one was special. "The waters of Venice are now clear, lions lounge on roads", The Guardian reports. Via Outdoors exists to reconnect us with the environment and to inspire us all to do more to save it, so this week we focus on nature:
Reasons to get outside, even during lockdown
Mini lockdown adventure ideas
10 things we can all do to help the world
Free trip! From the next edition of this newsletter, we'll be offering one subscriber and their friend a free future trip with Via Outdoors. If you'd like to join us in Snowdonia, the Peak District or Lake District for a weekend sign up the bottom of this page and share with your friends and ask them to sign up to maximise your chances!
Getting Outdoors, even just once a day
I recently wrote an article on our purpose at Via Outdoors that included a summary of the many benefits of getting outdoors, even if just for 30 minutes a day during lockdown: Physical According to the NHS, exercising reduces our risk to major illnesses including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and many cancers. If you exercise outdoors, you also get a healthy dose of Vitamin D, which many of us are deficient in and can also prevent disease. Amazingly, nature isn’t just preventative; she restores us. One study showed that patients recovering from spinal surgery felt less pain if they enjoyed natural light, whilst another study showed that by just being able to see trees and nature from their window, post-op patients recovered quicker and reduced medication doses. Nature heals us. Mental During lockdown, many of us are noticing more nature’s impact on our mental health. When I spend pretty much all week indoors, I’m more anxious, stressed and low. Yet just a short stroll through something remotely green transforms me. The mental health charity, Mind, is unequivocal: “spending time in nature has been found to help with mental health problems”. The list of conditions that can be helped is sizeable: stress, anxiety, depression, confidence, bi-polar disorder, seasonal affective disorder, OCD and more. I can attest to this too: messing about in fields and forests soothes my ongoing battle with stress and depression. Environmental Appreciating nature has another, beautifully circular benefit too: it improves the environment that we love. The National Trust and the University of Derby’s “Noticing Nature” report asks why some people take actions to protect the environment and some don’t. Their answer? “‘Noticing nature’ has the greatest influence on conservation action.” From watching wildlife to enjoying a sunrise, regularly appreciating the wonders of nature makes us much more likely to act. Other reports have shown that enjoying nature correlates to recycling, buying locally and responsibly, and travelling more sustainably. Perhaps noticing nature helps us to realise how connected and dependent our lives are on the environment. Find out more and read the full article here.
What should I do when I'm outdoors?
Here's some inspiration on how to have adventures from your doorstep, thanks to micro-adventure connoisseur Alastair Humphreys:
Adventure in the age of lockdown: Starting from my front door he is running every street, cul de sac and dead end on a mission to go places I have never been before. It is a way to notice new and beautiful and wild things, even in the most familiar of settings. It gives my ration of exercise a sense of purpose and adventure.
A film about walking every street in New York.
And a tale about cycling every street in London.
Five exercises ideal for lockdown life.
Doing our bit
This Earth Day, let's make a commitment to make 2020 the year we start to really protect our planet. After all, time is running out:
Weekly averages of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration: 18 April 2020: 416.27 ppm (parts per million) This time last year: 413.62 ppm 10 years ago: 392.85 ppm Pre-industrial base: 280 ppm Safe level: 350 ppm
Here are 10 top tips to help us act now:
Switch to renewable energy
Go meat-free, even for just a couple of days
Talk to friends and family about the environment - pass on this newsletter!
Learn more and stay educated - we'll help with that!
Reduce waste, especially food
Buy less and repair more
Use less energy
Offset your remaining emissions - about £45 for the typical Brit family
What about Via Outdoors?
Just like you all, we're itching to get back to the mountains! So to help, the next few editions of this newsletter will include a competition to win a free weekend trip to Snowdonia, the Peak District or the Lake District with us for you and a friend! Pass on this newsletter to as many friends as you can, and maximise your chance of winning.
Otherwise, are you following us on instagram for our latest news?
As soon as we're given the all-clear by the Government, we'll be back and we look forward to helping you all back into the wild.