A Pledge to the Outdoors.

Sunshine ferry rides. ©LaurenBurkitt

“I pledge to spend time outdoors every day.” My pledge for May was inspired by a program put on by the David Suzuki Foundation called ‘Canada’s 30 x 30 Nature Challenge‘. Suzuki is challenging Canadians to spend 30 minutes of their day outside in nature for 30 consecutive days in May. Your time outdoors can be spent walking to work, biking to the grocery store, reading in the park, or even sitting outside on bc ferries. One of my favourites so far is eating my lunch outside on break, instead of in the usual dark staff room. It gives me the energy I need to finish the rest of my shift. Suzuki writes, “within two minutes of exposure to nature, stress is reduced (as measured by muscle tension, blood pressure, and brain activity)”. Think about how relaxed you could be after 30 minutes a day for a whole month…

Sunshine. ©LaurenBurkitt

The first week of May and we got a high of 26 degrees. Where am I and what happened to Vancouver? The weather has been good to us this month and along with the sunshine came longer days, bigger smiles, and rosier cheeks. Even with the loss of our hockey team in the first round of playoffs, people are still happy. Now this is saying something. I love the sun. I don’t know many people who don’t. I think it’s important to be smart about sun exposure though(even if you don’t have white-girl skin that burns like mine). It’s easy to loose track of time on the beach or fall asleep tanning, but too much exposure to UV rays can be quite damaging. Sunshine is amazing for us when it’s enjoyed in proper doses. This summer as your work on your tan, keep my natural tips to safe sun exposure in mind and remember that sometimes less is more. I had a lot of fun making nature a priority and dedicating a small amount of my time everyday to being outdoors. I recommend this to anyone feeling overwhelmed by work/school/etc. It’s a cheap and fast way to de-stress!

Quite fitting to this months pledge, I recently watched this video called ‘Overview’ and wanted to share it with all of you. It’s 19 minutes long, but if you have the time you should watch it. It’s worth it, I promise. The photos and video footage of Earth from outer space is absolutely stunning, and the message of the movie made me tear up. Not something I expected from a group of astronauts!

“On the 40th anniversary of the famous ‘Blue Marble’ photograph taken of Earth from space, Planetary Collective presents a short film documenting astronauts’ life-changing stories of seeing the Earth from the outside – a perspective-altering experience often described as the Overview Effect. First described by author Frank White in 1987, the overview effect is an experience that transforms astronauts’ perspective of the planet and mankind’s place upon it. Common features of the experience are a feeling of awe for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment.”

Thanks for reading!

Why am I doing a monthly pledge for 2013? Read about it here.
Also find: January, February, March, & April.