The evidence on the importance of the green environment to human well-being suggests that individuals intent on living flourishing lives should maximise their contact with nature. Specific suggestions for this have been outlined below. If you are a manager or policy-maker it is also worth thinking about how you can increase employees or clients contact with nature. Again we have included a few suggestions below.
Tips for individuals
- Try to walk everyday in an area which is more natural than man-made. This could be in the country but it could also be a park or a tree lined street. It could also be the coast or along a river.
- Get out the country, or the coast, as much as you can at weekends or on holidays.
- Join a ramblers' club or set up a local walking group. The doubles, if not triples, the benefit of the activity as it also adds a social and community dimension.
- Take up a hobby which needs to be pursued in a natural environment - bird watching, landscape painting, golf, hill walking, collecting pebbles or shells.
- If you have a garden, devote more time to looking after it. If you don't have a garden having house plants to look after can be beneficial. Even having pictures of the natural world on your wall can have a destressing and restorative effect.
- If you can, try to have a view from your window of trees or bushes. Maximise the impact this will have on you by placing chairs or tables near the window.
Suggestions for managers/policy makers
- Review how much exposure your employees/clients may have to the green or natural environment and how much this can be influenced by your organisation. For example, this might not be substantial if you run a Job Centre but considerable if you run a residential home for the elderly. Set up a committee to look at how contact with the natural world can be improved.
- Where possible improve the landscaping round buildings.
- Try to create a green effect indoor through plants. Encourage an office group to look after them and encourage staff to bring in plants.
- Hang up pictures or posters of natural scenes. Install a water feature if possible.
- Hold staff meetings, training, away days, where possible, in a green environment. But make sure you allow some time in the programme for a walk.