If you follow me on social media, especially Instagram, you will know how much I love trees. I take a daily walk amongst the trees and they are vital to my wellbeing, as they are to yours. In an upcoming podcast episode (yes the Recycled Interiors Podcast launches 5th August so bookmark that!) I chat with David from Planet Ark, about the benefits of timber in your home and workplace. You can add nature to your life with the nation’s favourite planting event! Planet Ark is encouraging Australians to join the country’s biggest nature care initiative and tree planting event by embracing their inner green thumbs for Schools Tree Day on Friday 29th July or National Tree Day on Sunday 31st July.
Research shows that spending time in nature is key to growing happier, healthier, calmer, smarter and closer*, and there’s no better way to embrace these benefits than by taking part in Planet Ark’s iconic twenty-one year environmental campaign.
National Tree Day is a fulfilling opportunity to do something good for the environment and benefit from positive health and wellbeing outcomes. Participants will unite with thousands of generous, green-minded individuals to reconnect with nature, enjoy and protect Australia’s unique natural environment.
You can join a local site run in their community or even register to plant in their own backyard, courtyard or balcony garden.
Debbie Agnew, National Tree Day Manager, says that joining the much-loved nature campaign is an important way to connect with your community and realise your potential.
“Research shows that we are becoming increasingly disconnected from the natural world, to the detriment of our health and happiness. For every hour of outdoor recreational activity that Australians engage in, we spend seven hours in front of a screen,” she says.
“But the impacts of just adding nature are significant, including benefits to mental and physical health and wellbeing. This year’s National Tree Day theme, Grow More – Just Add Nature, highlights how we can use the power of nature to help us reach our full potential in all aspects of our lives. We all need nature to thrive!”
Planet Ark’s National Tree Day has grown to become Australia’s biggest community tree-planting and nature-care event and is celebrating its 21st year in 2016. The day aims to inspire, educate and recruit Australians to actively care for our unique land and create future generations of committed environmental custodians.
What’s National Tree Day all about?
• National Tree Day is a fun, community event that makes a valuable difference to the environment – as well as inspiring a continuing love of nature in people!
• National Tree Day is a chance to give something back to your community and our environment, and do something good for your own wellbeing by getting outside and connecting with nature. This is especially good for kids and their developing brains.
• People across the country will be getting involved in thousands of official tree planting and land care activities organised by schools, communities, workplaces, and Toyota Dealers, as well as sites in their own backyards.
• National Tree Day activities can also include bush regeneration activities, weeding, seed collecting, maintenance of past planning sites or growing a vegetable or herb garden.
What are the key benefits and why should you get involved in National Tree Day?
• This year the National Tree Day theme, “Grow More – Just add Nature”, highlights how everyone, whatever their age, can use the power of nature to enhance their health, happiness, learning, relaxation and relationships.
• We are all spending time more and more time inside due to increased screen time and shrinking backyards, so activities such as National Tree Day help to get people outside and enjoying nature.
• Planet Ark has done a wealth of research exploring the health, wellbeing and happiness benefits gained from spending time outside in natural settings.
a) Time in nature reduces a person’s chance of developing a range of diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke and depression.
b) Outdoor settings are linked to cognitive function, memory, productivity and engagement in creative projects.
c) Children who engage in just one third more outdoor activities than their peers grow up to be happier adults
• National Tree Day encourages people to think about helping the environment more regularly through a local group like Landcare or Bushcare to help plant trees throughout the year.
• Local plant communities provide the most suitable food and habitat for local native wildlife, and planting trees and bushes can create a green corridor that connects up existing bushland so animals can safely move through the area to find food, shelter and opportunities to breed.
What has been achieved so far?
• Since National Tree Day began, more than 3.8 million volunteers have helped plant over 23 million native trees, shrubs and grasses. Last year nearly 300,000 people took part at over 3,500 sites across the country, planting more than 1.2 million native trees, shrubs and edibles and helping to green urban areas.
To find out more visit treeday.planetark.org, call the Hotline on 1300 88 5000 or visit your local participating Toyota Dealership.
National Tree Day is organised by Planet Ark in partnership with Toyota Australia and its Dealer Network which provides on the ground support at tree planting sites across Australia.
The event is supported by a host of ambassadors, including Jamie Durie, Costa Georgiadis, James Treble, Magdalena Roze, Ranger Stacey, dirtgirl, Candice Dixon and Teigan Nash.
*A series of independent reports about the environmental, health, financial, social & communal benefits of nature commissioned by Planet Ark treeday.planetark.org/research