How to reconnect with nature this Biodiversity Month

How to reconnect with nature this Biodiversity Month

September is here, and with it comes Biodiversity Month, so we’re diving deep
into the benefits of protecting and connecting with Mother Nature in all her
diversity. This month of awareness shines a light on everything biodiversity
brings us - but it’s equally important to look at how we can create a reciprocal
bond, where we give some love back to the environment too.

As a natural bedding company, our business sits on a foundation of ethical
values, eco-friendly and organic practices, and low tox materials that cause the
least harm to the earth. So we feel strongly about Biodiversity Month and
creating a focus that brings us all together to build a better era of sustainability
and care. 

If you’re wondering how you can get involved with Biodiversity Month, look no
further. We’re your one-stop shop for celebrating all things biodiverse. 



What exactly is biodiversity?

In its simplest terms, biodiversity describes all the weird and wonderful life forms
that live on earth. Think diverse plant species, organisms in the soil, ecosystems
like forests, deserts, oceans, and lakes, and the living creatures that interact
with them. These complex structures in nature feed us, create clean air, provide
water, and even support our health and wellbeing. 

But this is no one-way street - because nature needs us too. If we’ve learned
anything from the rapidly changing climate, it’s that we get out what we put in.
The Aboriginal culture of caretaking and co-existing with nature have long
blazed trails in this respect, with Australia one of only ​​17 ‘mega-diverse’
countries that are home to more than 70% of the world’s biodiversity. 


How can we connect with nature?

In order to cultivate a generous and shared future between humans, animals,
and the planet, the first step is learning how to connect. For many societies -
particularly western ones - it’s often about reconnection. Our lives have become
busier, environments less green, and interactions with nature less frequent.

So how can we establish this bond with the natural world? Here’s a few ideas…


Make time for nature

How do you fix a detached relationship with nature? You do the opposite and
fully immerse yourself in it! The same way you schedule a workout or brunch
date, try scheduling nature time in your calendar. It might be incidental, like
walking outside instead of on the treadmill, or more mindful, like sitting
uninterrupted in a park without screens, music or talking. 

Over time, you’ll feel a stronger affinity with the natural environment, noticing
more of the details and diversity of these natural spaces, which in turn builds
awe. Researchers encourage meditating or mindfully observing nature, with as
little as 10 minutes proven to help people feel happier and reduce physical and
psychological stress. 


Learn from Aboriginal culture

Aboriginal Australians hold a deep respect for nature, recognising the intrinsic
link between humans and the land. In a reflection by Dr Miriam Rose
Ungunmerr, an elder, member of the Ngangiwumirr language group and Senior
Australian of the Year 2021, she talks about how quiet mindfulness in nature
allows both personal healing and connection with the earth.

Ungunmerr discusses the Aboriginal practice of dadirri, a peaceful, silent
contemplation in nature that drops her into deep, inner listening. Ungunmerr
says, “Our Aboriginal culture has taught us to be still and to wait. We do not try
to hurry things up. We let them follow their natural course – like the seasons.
We learnt by watching and listening. Our people have passed on this way of
listening for over 40,000 years.”

Learn more about this practice and its role in Aboriginal culture by listening to
her podcast with Beyond Blue about Dadirri and healing. 

Keep a nature journal

While journaling already offers a path to reflection, doing it with nature as your
backdrop can be even more powerful. And a key way to form that mutual union
can be to turn your journaling towards nature itself. Take a book and pen into
your local park, backyard, beach, or nature reserve, and jot down what you
notice. It might be the sounds you hear, the animals you glimpse out of the
corner of your eye, or the growth of certain plants and flowers over time. 
Experts say that keeping a nature journal can deepen your connection with
nature and boost your mental health and wellbeing. A beautiful way to bond
with your environment is to choose a ‘sit spot’, a place you return to each time.
This allows you to gain a deeper appreciation for the subtle flow of life cycles,
seasons, and biodiversity as you gradually integrate into your chosen



How can we give back to nature?

With ‘a shared future’ at the heart of this year’s Biodiversity focus, it doesn’t
work to only take from the environment. Nature’s flow is all about reciprocity,
so it’s essential to return the benefits to nature wherever possible.

Learn to live with less

Whether it’s packaged food, plastic products, clothing or technology, start asking
yourself if you really need something the next time you click ‘add to cart’. We’re
told from every angle that we need the newest possessions, when in reality,
trends are only adding to the size of landfill and the poor health of the planet. 


Practice waiting a few days before purchasing that thing you want, and aim to
shop secondhand and sustainably, all of which helps to give items a longer or
repurposed life before discarding. Click here for more ideas on cutting out
plastic and opting for low tox materials and bedding accessories - all in the
name of planet earth. 

Start a compost

Building a compost bin or worm farm in your backyard is a brilliant way to cut
down on food waste and bring more diversity and nutrients to your soil. Even
urban solutions like the Bokashi bin works to break down food scraps and
create a nourishing fertiliser for your gardens and plants, without needing
space for a permanent compost. 

The wonderful folk at Bunnings have a great guide on all the different ways you
can get a compost up and running at your home - plus, they’ve got all the gear
you’ll need to get started.

Look for low tox products

Our environments don’t stop at your backyard - so it’s important to keep in mind
where our products will wind up when building a mutual bond with nature. With
so many of our detergents, soaps, and cleaning products going down the drain
into our waterways, it’s important to swap harsh chemicals for low tox
alternatives. Ethique is one brand that uses plant-based, gentle ingredients to
make bars of soap, shampoo and conditioner, which are not only kind to the
waterways and animals living there, but also cuts back on packaging, since all
bars come in recyclable boxes. 


Our own non toxic mattresses, sustainable pillows, and organic bedding are
another example of how you can support the future of our environment just by
choosing better brands to shop with.

Leave nature as you found it

Long before colonisation caused the erosion of the land with traditional farming
practices, Aboriginal people built sustainable practices of their own. These less
intrusive approaches allowed nature to regenerate, while settlers cleared and
removed trees and plants, losing a number of native species in the process. 

While you might not be able to grow a fully fledged wildlife sanctuary in your
backyard, you can certainly opt to grow native plants in your garden, and
encourage businesses or your workplace to participate in ‘plant a tree’ initiatives
or Landcare programs. Planting native Australian flora - like honey myrtle,
abelias and bottlebrush - also keeps the bees happy, an ever-growing focus in
the face of dwindling bee populations.

And of course let’s not forget initiatives like Take 3 For The Sea, where you and
your friends pick up 3 pieces of plastic or trash each time you head to the
beach, leaving nature in her true, original state.


Practice makes perfect

Engaging with Biodiversity Month is an important first step - but by no means the
last. September acts as a jumping off point to build a deeper understanding of
nature and the many ways our environment supports us. But in order to ‘build a
shared future for all life’, we have to give back in meaningful ways too. Start
weaving some of these practices into your familiar routines, and watch your
connection with nature grow far beyond this month of awareness.