If it’s true that people are self-interested creatures at heart, journalist Richard Louv has a message for humankind: Think not only what we can do for nature, but what nature can do for us.
Louv’s seminal book, Last Child in the Woods, launched a national dialogue about the disconnection between children and nature, a state he calls nature-deficit disorder. Now, in The Nature Principle, Louv vividly portrays how a nature-infused lifestyle can enhance the quality of our health and relationships, benefiting every facet of experience. He asserts that the more high-tech our lives become, the more nature we need, and offers a roadmap to a future that incorporates nature into every aspect of our lives, from our homes to our workplaces.
The recipient of the 2008 Audubon Medal, Louv is the author of eight books, and the founder of the Children & Nature Network.
You cite many instances of nature’s power to heal and restore us mentally, emotionally, physically and even intellectually. How does science account for this?
Healers have known about the importance of nature to our health and well-being for thousands of years, but scientists have only in recent years begun to study the benefits of what I call, “vitamin N.” Still, the preliminary research indicates overwhelmingly positive correlations between human health and intelligence and nature.
For example, a University of Illinois study of urban children with attention deficit disorder found that even a little exposure to nature can have a positive effect on…
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