Photo: Nature is calling: Join the 30x30 Challenge

(Credit: Brendon Purdy)

After a long winter, change is in the air, with birds chirping, flowers blooming and trees budding. Yes, that's nature calling. This spring, the David Suzuki Foundation is encouraging Canadians to heed the call and add a dose of nature to their daily routine.

During May, we're asking Canadians to pledge to spend 30 minutes in nature every day for 30 consecutive days during the 30×30 Nature Challenge.

Over the past three years, the 30×30 Challenge has inspired tens of thousands of Canadians and hundreds of workplaces and schools to cultivate the "nature habit". They took to the great outdoors, doubling their time spent outside.

Why should we listen when nature calls? Most of us spend many hours a day in front of screens and mere minutes outside. It's time for us all to get outdoors, for the good of our health and well-being.

Over the past decade, researchers have realized what most of us know intuitively: nature is good for us! It is well-documented that being regularly immersed in a natural setting, like a park, field or forest, can lower blood pressure, anxiety and stress levels, and boost immunity. "Green time" has also been shown to reduce feelings of anger and depression, while increasing energy, creativity and even generosity.

The first question many people ask is how to fit the 30×30 Challenge into their busy lives. That's why we've stocked our website with dozens of examples of fun, simple activities that get people outside — from coffee breaks and lunches in local parks to moving your exercise routine outside and taking after-dinner strolls with friends. Check out 30× to find daily tips for home, work and school.

And after three years of getting Canadians outside, we've found that the 30×30 Challenge is making a difference. Through surveys conducted each year, participants have reported that they generally sleep better and feel calmer and less stressed. Impressive results for half an hour a day!

We hope you'll join us in taking the 30×30 Nature Challenge, so we can reap nature's benefits together. Remember to sign up for the Challenge before May 1.

See you outside!