10 Vitamin N Strategies for Families, Organizations and Communities

Start your Vitamin N Plan by marking five of the 500 actions, and put them on the calendar.
Beyond the initial five, select the actions you want to do most, even if you can’t do them right away. Sort them into actions you want to do for yourself; with one or more family members; and with your community. (Caution: One mother started marking the actions in her copy of “Vitamin N” and quickly gave up. She realized she was marking almost every action. That’s a good thing.)
Try the One-a-Day Vitamin N approach.
One mother reports that her daughter gets up every morning, finds the (now beat-up) copy of “Vitamin N,” and picks one action a day that she wants to do – and does it. Sometimes the action involves others, sometimes it’s a solitary action. “We had to limit our daughter to one a day. Otherwise we would have been overwhelmed.” Her daughter is still going strong.
Pick low-hanging fruit, then climb higher.
Once you or your family (or organization) has done five actions in the book, pick five more that are out of your comfort zone, and do those. Ask a family member or a friend to suggest actions from the book that they think are out of your comfort zone.
Use Vitamin N as a rallying point to start a family nature club.
After downloading the free tool kit from C&NN, gather some parents who might be interested in creating such a club and hold a discussion (with pizza…or, ok, something healthier) at your home. Last Child in the Woods and Louv’s second book, about adults, The Nature Principle, are also a good discussion starters, but Vitamin N cuts to the chase of possible adventures for your new club.
Start creating your nature-rich home, yard, garden, school or workplace.
Set a goal of three months for a natural beauty makeover of where you live, work, learn and play. The point here is to infuse your daily environment with natural elements, and surround your family and friends with the restorative power of nature.
Do Your Own Natural Beauty Makeover.
Why not? Use Vitamin N as a guide to getting in better shape physically and psychologically. Create a green gym in your backyard or neighborhood. Pick the actions in the book that are appropriate for your life, then set monthly goals and see how you feel when you meet them.
Make Saturday your Vitamin N Challenge Day.
Or pick another day of the week, but put it on your calendar; and make it a family tradition to set at least one day aside to do something new drawn from the book (or from other, similar books).
Keep a Vitamin N Diary.
Track what you’re doing, and what you’re learning and experiencing. You can do this in writing or drawings or digital photographs – or even sound recordings (including the sounds of the nature you’ve experienced on your outings). Share pieces of your diary on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or other social media – or start your own Vitamin N Blog – or write a guest blog post for C&NN! Challenge others to take the Vitamin N Challenge, and then compare notes.
Use Vitamin N as a practical guide to making your community great for families and nature
by creating a nature-rich school, schoolyard, library, or faith-based organization. If you’re organizing a regional campaign to get kids and families outside, use Vitamin N (or similar books) as your action manual.
Create a Vitamin N Community Challenge Day (Month or Year)
for your school, extended family, place of worship, workplace, service club or friendship network. Challenge your community to set goals, meet them, and become the best community in America — or the world — for people and nature.

Choose Your Challenge

Adopt any of the actions suggested in Vitamin N or similar books, get inspired by ideas from others or come up with your own actions and innovations. You can choose a single experience or several over the course of a week, month, or year. Think about how Vitamin N can serve how your family, school, place of worship, library, health care facility or community in connecting people to nature.
Vitamin N Challenge

Share Your Experience

Tell us about your personal Vitamin N Challenge. How did you get your dose of Vitamin N?  What worked and what didn’t? Let us know how your life and the lives of others are changed. There are many ways to share your experience.

In the coming weeks and months, we’ll feature the best ideas on C&NNs social media channels and in Vitamin N eblasts to our extensive networks.

The ten best essays and social media submissions will receive a signed set of Last Child in the Woods, The Nature Principle, and Vitamin N. Our goal: to advance the movement, change the culture, and give every child the gift of nature. Let’s get started!

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