Thursday, 4 June 2015

Network of Wellbeing Celebrates World Environment Day

Florence Scialom looks at activities lined up by the Network of Wellbeing (NOW) to mark World Environment Day on Friday, 5 June.

NOW have shared a series of inspiring guest blog posts and videos on the connections between wellbeing and the environment throughout this week, as follows:

•    Connect with nature for improved mental health: World-renowned environmentalist Jonathon Porritt shares a guest post on the health benefits of nature. In particular, Jonathon talks about his experiences as President of The Conservation Volunteers (TCV), and TCV’s innovative Green Gyms project.
•    Nature is central to wellbeing: Campaigner, writer and leading environmentalist Tony Juniper shares a guest post offering his reflections on how Nature is central to our wellbeing, and should not be sacrificed for a misguided pursuit of 'progress'.
•    Strategies to build wellbeing for people and planet: This post shares some recent NOW video interviews, offering insightful perspectives on wellbeing and the environment. One interview is with Alan Watson Featherstone, Founder of Trees for Life and the other is with Chris Johnstone, Founder of The Centre for Resilience, Happiness and Positive Change.
•    Friends of the Earth: The final post in this series will be from Friends of the Earth, and will be shared on NOW’s blog on World Environment Day. 

Enjoy more with less

Seven billion dreams. One planet. Consume with care.” This is the theme for World Environment Day 2015 shared by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which coordinates global activities for the Day. This theme has served to inspire NOW’s range of activities. “Living sustainability is about doing more and better with less”, says the UNEP. NOW agrees, and therefore is keen to help highlight ways we can enjoy life with less, while being mindful of the world’s natural resources.

NOW has run a photo competition over the last month to help celebrate the lead up to World Environment Day, inviting entries which show how we can enjoy life more with less environmental impact. Prizes for the best entries include a free ticket to the Resurgence Festival of Wellbeing 2015 in London, a year’s subscription to Resurgence and the Ecologist magazine, and a free copy of Satish Kumar’s book, Soil, Soul and Society. Entries have now closed, and NOW will be announcing the winner(s) from the range of beautiful entries received on their blog soon.

Foraging for Wild Food

Throughout NOW’s activities for World Environment Day, it’s been emphasised that Nature is essential to our overall wellbeing. Another way NOW will be celebrating Nature’s bounty for World Environment Day is through running a Foraging Walk in Totnes (Devon, UK) together with Transition Town Totnes. NOW's Dr. Larch Maxey will be leading the Foraging Walk, and he’ll be guiding participants to find Spring treats from alexanders, daisies and  dandelions to valerian, wild garlic and yarrow. For those outside of Totnes, NOW have also put together a blog post sharing some useful resources on foraging.

Celebrating Nature

It has been proven that Nature is good for us, and the green life can be a good life. NOW wants to mark World Environment Day by encouraging people to connect with the joys of nature, and celebrate how it’s possible to enjoy life to the full whilst still respecting the environment.

You can help to spread the word to raise awareness about World Environment Day, through sharing some of the blogs, videos and photos mentioned above via social media. You can find NOW online via their website, as well as on social media via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Florence Scialom has a background in communications, community building and research. She works at the Network of Wellbeing (NOW), helping to coordinate NOW’s online communications and community building. She holds a BA in International Relations and Development Studies, and an MA in Anthropology and Development.

Photo credit: Sunny Loch Lomond, in Scotland - World Environment Day photo competition entry from Rebecca Crowther.

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