Reconnecting with Nature is Path to Sustainable Development

Exeter [UK], Jan 15 (ANI): A research study undertaken by Exeter University found that people who live in more developed areas and spend less time in nature are less likely to take sustainable steps, such as recycling, the purchase of eco-friendly goods and community volunteering.The results of this study indicated that policies targeted at the conservation and growth of urban green areas and promoting the reconnection of urban populations with nature may lead to achieving sustainability targets and reducing carbon emissions.The study published in Environment International journal analyzed survey responses from more than 24,000 people in England.The researchers explored people's exposure to nature in their local area, their recreational visits to natural environments how they appreciated the natural world. The team found that many green choices were more common in people who lived in greener neighbourhoods or at the coast, and among those who regularly visited natural spaces irrespective where they lived. The relationships were the same for men and women, young and old, and for rich and poor.Dr Ian Alcock, who is the lead author of the study said: "Over 80% of the English population now live in urban areas and are increasingly detached from the natural world. Greening our cities is often proposed to help us adapt to climate change - for example, city parks and trees can reduce urban heat spots. But our results suggest urban greening could help reduce the damaging behaviours which cause environmental problems in the first place by reconnecting people to the natural world.""The results are correlational so there is always the issue of untangling cause and effect, but our results based on a very large representative sample are consistent with experimental work which shows that people become more pro-environmental after time spent in natural vs. urban settings," said another co-researcher. (ANI)

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