The environment is central to our wellbeing in so many ways; from the health benefits of connecting with nature, to the natural resources that sustain our lives. Here at the Network of Wellbeing (NOW), we will be celebrating World Environment Day on June 5th to help acknowledge nature’s importance to us. Our plans include:
- An online series of blogs and videos
- A #GrowShareCare competition
- A Forest Festival event in Totnes, Devon, UK
Read on for further details, and if you have plans for World Environment Day that you’d like to share, then please get in touch!
Growing, Sharing, Caring
Here at NOW, we believe actions to promote wellbeing cannot simply be those that make individuals happier. One person’s wellbeing must support, not come at the expense of, others’ or the planet. This is not about sacrificing individual wellbeing, though: caring effectively for our personal wellbeing can be done in ways that support the community we live in, the society of which we are part and the natural world which sustains all of our lives.
That is why we have chosen ‘Growing, Sharing, Caring’ as the theme for our activities on World Environment Day. We believe that lasting wellbeing for individuals comes not from what they buy, but from what they do, and that individuals cannot achieve wellbeing by acting alone.
Growing, sharing and caring are simple activities that encourage us to take note, to give and to connect; all vital ways to improving our wellbeing. They also have a deeper significance.
Growing plants teaches us to connect and pay attention to nature’s rhythms. Growing can also be seen as a seminal metaphor for positive change. We speak of growing as individuals and of growing our communities, in terms of becoming better people and fostering stronger reciprocal bonds with each other. Likewise, when we talk of growing as a society, we shouldn’t just think in terms of economic growth, but also in terms of society becoming better; of our ensuring that everyone’s needs are met and that we have more time for activities that develop us as people, so that we can live fulfilled lives.
Sharing is also a metaphor. When we talk about sharing the world’s natural resources, we don’t mean doling them out – “one for you, one for me” as children might share a bag of sweets, we mean managing access to them, so that everyone can benefit and we mean preserving them so that future generations can benefit too. In practice, projects that support us sharing directly with each other (such as share shops) can reduce unnecessary waste and support stronger connections between us.
Caring for each other and for the Earth is central to wellbeing. In fact, care is a virtuous circle. The Earth supports us, and the more we care for the Earth the more we are able to sustain ourselves from the natural world in the longer term. And when we care for each other, we create positive emotions which can spread between people, as you can observe through random acts of kindness and pay it forward initiatives.
What’s more, when we look a little deeper, these three simple activities – growing, sharing and caring – relate to each other. When we share with others, we reach out to them. When we care for others, we grow ourselves. A feeling of being cared for is perhaps vital if one is to really grow. When we grow food from the land, we care for land and can share the resulting produce with others.
Ultimately, relationships are the stuff of life. Growing, sharing and caring are closely intertwined. Like a gardener who grows plants by caring for them or a parent who grows children in the same way, we must learn to care for others and the world around us, so we grow as people and as a society.
Through focusing on ‘Growing, Sharing, Caring’ as our theme, on this World Environment Day, we’d like to encourage everyone to take accessible steps to grow, share and care with and for themselves and others.
- Enter our #GrowShareCare World Environment Day competition
- Keep an eye out for our World Environment Day series of blogs
- For those based in Totnes, you can join us at an exciting Forest Festival event too.
- If you need any further information or if you have plans for World Environment Day that you’d to share then please get in touch!