Monday, May 12, 2014

Is 30x30 Only for the True Belie-verts?

Last week on 30x30 Challenge...

Recap: this month I'm doing David Suzuki's 30x30 Challenge: spend 30minutes outside in nature each day for the month of May. (first post here)
Why? Decrease stress, reconnect with nature, sleep better, increase physical activity.
Also: Support environmental sociological research at Trent University (survey pre-post).

(Interestingly, the first post sparked a quick, as always, discussion on twitter re: feasibility of finding green space and time for this in the city. I was surprised that perhaps others might not have the same "high importance" rating for being in nature as I do. That said, I also feel that it is easier to find "green space" now that I'm not in the city. Which makes urban green space finds all the more important. It made me wonder: are the people doing the challenge the people who would truly benefit, or is the challenge filled with 30minute a day belie-verts? hah, see what I did there?)

Last week's 30x30 in a nutshell:

Tuesday May 6th: I spent over 4 hours in the car for work, driving to home sessions and then a three hour drive to my parents village for a weeklong French consultation for work. Once home, and after my homemade lobster chowder (yum!) I was exhausted. When I mentioned I needed to spend 30 minutes outside, my dad immediately piped up that he had loads of work to do in the yard for the boat (lobster fishing) and I could help.

(Dad choosing his buoys for the truck... life as a fisherman)

(Dad's buoys, coiled rope and kayak containers)

We spent about 45 minutes loading rope and buoys on the back of his truck followed by a drive out in the middle of nowhere to pick up special lobster bait (des gaspereaux as my mom would say). The kayak dipper's supply was at the end of a long dirt forested road opening onto a wide open field and old farmstead (still being used as a summer rental) with fields of daffodils, deer grazing and hawks lazily flying overhead.
(Old farmstead on the river that opens onto the Atlantic- perfect for brackish fish such as kayaks)
Kayaks freshly dipped and ready to be lobster bait

(SO many daffodils, the field goes on beyond the picture)
True to small village form, the exchange of money for kayaks involved my dad leaving the cash on the kayak dipper's steering wheel and dumping the fish from the back of the truck into containers dad had brought. A quick phone call on the way out just to let the dipper know and we were good. Once we returned home there were two deer just hanging out on the front lawn! Perfect. A fantastic rare father-daughter evening overall.
(Two deer! The closest is a yearling and the furthest is a pregnant doe!)

Wednesday May 7th: This was a fail. I was so exhausted from my day of consultation that I came home and napped for an hour, followed by three hours of extended family visiting. No significant outside time.

(Stoop sunset)
Thursday May 8th: I spent 30 minutes sitting on the stoop of my parents house, listening to all the different birds, the sounds of the wind through the trees as the sun set over the Atlantic. Nothing beats a Nova Scotia ocean sunset.

Friday May 9th: Another fail. This one was the result of another exhausting day of travelling back to Halifax and working. I did spend some time walking outside, but not 30 minutes.

Saturday May 10th: Andrew and I spent 1 hour taking out the dead plants and grass from our garden! Since we a) have no idea what we're doing and b) have no idea what plants are actually coming up, it was definitely an interesting experience. But fun!

(Our locally made cedar bat house!)

Sunday May 11th: We spent a few hours in the yard! I planted some flowers in a planter to try to actively attract hummingbirds to our feeder (choosing flowers for what I know to be successful at my parent's cottage), we cleaned off two white plastic deck chairs we found thrown behind the shed and we set up the bat house! Cross our fingers we actually get a few bats nesting and bat babies! I have a funny feeling the little stream behind our house will be a haven for mosquitoes, and bats would go far in providing pest control. I also found a weird ceramic deep bird plate that I decided we could fill with water and use as a bird bath.

We finished our outdoor time just sitting on our deck and enjoying our new flowers, bat house and bird bath.

Monday May 12th: Despite Andrew having an aura migraine and my having pulled an intercostal muscle that morning and having trouble breathing- we went for a 30minute walk. There are so many birds and little streams in our neighbourhood that walks are filled with beautiful nature sounds!

Back to the original question: is the 30x30 challenge filled with the "green" converted (the belie-verts)? Despite my two day misses, this past week I have spent more time outside than I normally would have. Definitely the time at home was all outside time I wouldn't have normally spent and Andrew and I are walking more in the evenings together. I'm getting excited to actually plant a garden for food and practice yoga on our deck when it gets warm enough.

For this eco-yogini in any case, the 30x30 challenge has been a definite "nature boost" incentive and so far has resulted in:
a) more noticeable energy on days when I spend time outside
b) opportunities to connect with my father in a meaningful way
c) meaningful and active time spent with my husband
d) connecting with our new yard!

What about you? How is your challenge going?


  1. Very nice post! I think the 30x30 is a great way to intentionally reconnect with nature. I grew up in a rural outport village in Northern NL and I miss the simplicity and beauty that interacting with nature brings. My childhood summers were filled with walking the beach at low tide searching for crabs, eels and hermit crabs to gather in a bucket. We would spend hours and hours wandering the beach and the woods having adventures and using our imaginations. I'm a little sad my own children won't have that freedom and nature connection that I had. I will have to ensure I pass on my love of dirt, woods and ocean :)

  2. While I normally spend a decent amount of time outside due to my love of gardening, I am enjoying the challenge because it is pushing me to get off my butt on days when I might have skipped doing something. I'm finding I have more energy, I am sleepier at bedtime, and all my outside jobs are caught up. Love the 30 x 30 challenge! Here's my week two post:

  3. By the way, you live in an amazingly beautiful area. Stunning photos, and your description brings them to lifel

  4. Love the photos! We saw a deer and baby fawn a city park (wilderness) today.


I love hearing from you! So I don't miss a comment, I like "pre-approving" them :)
I ask only that we stay respectful.
Also, please note that this is a personal blog and not a space for advertising your company. I reserve the right to delete "advertising" comments.

**NB: The ANONYMOUS option is the BEST way to comment if you don't have a blogger or established google/gmail account.