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The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age Paperback – April 17, 2012
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From Publishers Weekly
In this sanguine, wide-ranging study of how humans can thrive through the "renaturing of everyday life," Louv takes nature deficit disorder, introduced in his seminal Last Child in the Woods, a step further, to argue that adults need nature, too. "A reconnection to the natural world is fundamental to human health," he writes, asking, "What would our lives be like if our days and nights were as immersed in nature as they are in electronics?" Louv's "Nature Principle" consists of seven precepts, including balancing technology excess with time in nature; a mind/body/nature connection, which Louv calls "vitamin N," that enhances physical and mental health; expanding our sense of community to include all living things; and purposefully developing a spiritual, psychological, physical attachment to a region and its natural history. The book presents examples of these precepts, from studies of how exposure to a common soil bacteria increases production of serotonin in the brain to designing shopping malls inspired by termite mounds. Although lightweight for longtime nature lovers, the book may be just what our high-tech, urban culture needs to bring us down to earth. (May)
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A group of people who give public seminars to our community is using the nature principle, Vitamin N, as a basis for improving the instruction in these classes. It is our goal to encourage more people to participate in outdoor gardening activities and this book has given us the evidence we need to make it a factual based series, instead of just opinions.
The book is not an especially "easy read" and sometimes the author goes off on tangents that are more touchy/feely than scientific (the reasons for the 4 stars rather than 5.) But he has done an excellent job of pulling together the evidence for his theories regarding our need for time in nature. I especially appreciate the references he has included so further research is much easier for anyone needing scientific basis for the information.
Louv focuses on seven basic concepts that tap into the restorative power of nature. Combining ideas and information from both well-known naturalists through history as well as current research, Louv provides compelling arguments for the importance of the natural world in today's society.
If you're looking for a book to guide the future of the nature movement, this would be a great place to start.