Letter From the Publisher April 2022
I cannot think of a more idyllic season to bask in the simple, restorative beauty of nature than spring. This time of year is absolute paradise here on our slice of Southwest Florida coastline. The warm breeze, colorful foliage and brilliant sunshine remind us not to take our environment for granted—which is exactly what this month’s issue of Natural Awakenings is all about. In April, we’re diving into the benefits of sustainable living, as well as how practical and accessible it is to integrate eco-conscious practices into daily life. Join me as we peak inside!
Our feature article for this month is called “Why We Need Wild Places,” and it’s sure to ignite an adventurous, nature-loving spirit within you. As the world continues to recover from a global pandemic that was likely caused by the harmful impacts of environmental destruction, it’s more crucial than ever before to invite nature back into both our lives and landscapes. There are many practical solutions to achieve this, from rewilding natural habitats, to advocating for open green spaces in our local neighborhoods, to supporting national parks conservation, to cultivating native plant species in our yards, to limiting our use of pesticides or herbicides. It’s a communal effort to save the environment, but we can each do our part with intentional steps.
How we fuel our own bodies also influences the health of our environment, as this month’s “Conscious Eating” article points out. Animal agriculture contributes heavily to the long-term impact of climate change in several ways. An estimated 31 billion animals are farmed each year across the globe which causes water and soil contamination, as well as extensive deforestation. Therefore, if we all make strides to substitute our meat or dairy consumption with eco-friendlier, locally grown plant-based options, we can help to minimize the devastating effects of animal farming. We can also learn to reduce our own food waste through at-home practices like composting, as well as community initiatives such as redistributing leftover food from local farms, grocery stores, restaurants or catering businesses.
Our children will inherit this world from us as they come of age, so it’s crucial to instill a love of nature in this next generation—and one effective way to do this is with storytelling. Kids are full of wild, active imaginations, so you can teach them to both respect and protect the environment by tapping into their innate sense of curiosity. Help them understand the importance of caring for this world through stories about the animals, plants and habitats that surround them. Point out a tree and ask them to imagine the squirrels, birds or other species who might call this tree home. Together, weave a story about how these animals coexist with each other and the tree as a unified ecosystem, then brainstorm steps you can all take as a family to preserve that ecosystem. This can help foster a love and appreciation for nature earlier in their lives.
In addition, we will continue the crossword challenge that we first introduced in March, so we invite you to join in the fun. Each clue will come from an article in this issue, and the answers will be posted on my website at NASRQ.com. I hope this season is one of natural restoration for you from the inside out. Take some time just to step outside to breathe in the beauty of nature all around you. It will do wonders for your wellness, I guarantee!