This fall, we launched our latest sustainability theme: Nature Rx. We chose this theme because we knew that people might be feeling stressed during this whirlwind of a year and could probably use some mindful time outside.

The goal of the Nature Rx theme was to share information about the health and wellness benefits that come with spending more time in nature while also showcasing different ways to spend time outside. To kick off the theme, we dug a little deeper into the science behind why spending time outdoors is good for us. We found that spending just 20 minutes in nature has “been shown to lower stress, blood pressure and heart rate.”  (If you’re interested in learning more about the science behind the health benefits of getting outside, visit the Nature Rx webpage.) Making time to get out in nature isn’t always easy. We lead busy lives and sometimes vegging out on the couch sounds like the best way to spend that small amount of free time we get. Now more than ever, though, it seemed like encouraging folks to get outside was important. Thus the Nature Rx Challenge was born!

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to enjoying time outdoors.

Those who signed up for the Challenge received weekly emails highlighting a new way to spend mindful time outside. Everyone connects to nature differently and we wanted to honor that when we shared ideas for getting outside more often. During the challenge, participants explored everything from hiking to forest bathing and lots of things in between. We shared active ways to engage with nature like birdwatching or citizen science and more passive ways like watching the sunset or gazing at the stars. We had a whopping 97 households participate in the Challenge and we shared new challenges every week for 13 weeks. In October, we started recording the hours we were spending outside, and by the end of November we had collectively spent 2108 hours outside! If you missed out on participating in the Challenge but you’d still like to take a look at the weekly themes then you’re in luck because we’ve uploaded all the challenges and resources to our website! You can check them out here. 

Check out all 13 Weeks of the Nature Rx Challenge on our website. 

With winter quickly approaching, you might be worried that it will be tougher to spend time outside. Check out Week 13 of the Nature Rx Challenge where we explore the Norwegian concept of friluftsliv or open-air-living. There are some good ideas that might change your mind about how to spend time outside even during the colder months!

The Norweign concept of friluftsliv encourages people to not endure the winter, but enjoy it! Learn more here.

Stay tuned for our next sustainability theme coming in Spring 2021. In the meantime you can explore all our previous sustainability themes here!