We arrive on Earth. We do not choose when or where but are alive and surrounded by other invisible and visible forms of life, many of which are in our very DNA. Biophilia comes from the Greek word, ‘Philia,’ or Love of life and living things. The invisible forms of life include ecosystems we cannot see but whose complex cycles and processes are the basis for our life on Earth. Look at Universal Scales to 'see’ forms of life that are invisible or watch the Scales of the Universe to better understand what is too small for us to see but yet, powerfully part of the reason we are living. Amazingly, the invisible forms of life outnumber all the species of plants, animals, and insects combined! We hear, see, touch, feel, taste, and sense the world around us. We only need to look, listen, observe, document, and connect. Humans are part of nature, and today, more than ever, they need to be in contact with and take care of the natural world.
Activity 1 – Listen for Life
Wherever you are, close your eyes and listen. Once you get past the sound of your body, let your ears reach out in other directions. What do you hear? Can you hear non-human life forms? Who makes sounds? What sounds do they make? Listen to the movement of leaves on trees, breezes through a pine forest, ripple or roar of a water wave, the flow of a river, and life in a wetland. The study of Acoustic Ecology is an exercise in opening our ears to life around us. Look at NEXT.cc SOUND, SOUND MAPPING, SOUND SCAPES to expand listening from wherever you are. Draw a picture of your ear and non-human things that you hear. We must be quiet to learn to listen. Listening puts us in the background as we reach out with our senses to absorb the world around us.
Upload your drawing of your with the sounds you heard! Start listening more closely everyday! Nature is talking to you!
Activity 2 – Look Down for Life
We can connect with the world from where we are simply by stepping outside and looking down. We might see concrete walks or asphalt roads, but look beside and beyond. There is a wealth of life underneath our feet. The Earth may be sand, soil, dirt, mud, loam, clay, or rock. Next, scratch the surface of the ground. What do you find? Are there worms, ants, insects, or roots? Draw and label the on-the-ground and below-the-ground circle of life. Is the ground hard, or soft, wet or dry? Make drawings or take pictures of everything you see and label them.
Upload your labeled life form findings to the gallery!
Activity 3 – Take Care of a Plant
Today, go outside and look down in another spot. There is a wealth of new forms of life underneath your feet. It may be covered with moss or lichen. It may be plants that flower. Every plant you see helps clean your air so that you can breathe. What can you do for plants? Most plants start with seeds, which sprout and develop roots in the soil. Review NEXT.cc’s SEED JOURNEY Find a source of seeds that interest you. They could be a flower, a vegetable, or a tree seed. Plant the seed you find and water it, making sure it has access to sunshine. You can plant a lemon seed, an avocado seed, a tomato, or lettuce seeds to grow food. Find an acorn. Plant it. With care, it might grow into a mighty tree. Provide for it. Taking care of something living is essential. It helps us realize that our actions affect living things.
Take a photo of your plant or plants and upload them to the gallery!
Activity 4 – DIscover our Interdependence on non-human life
What non-human lives around us? Looking down, around, ahead, and behind, search for life in your yard or your building’s yard. Document the forms of life you see- insects, invertebrates, worms, birds, butterflies, chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, snakes, and so many more different living things! You might even see turkeys, raccoons, coyotes, and deer! Use the NEXT.cc Nature Bingo Worksheet to record the life forms you encounter. Learn their names and expand your knowledge of what they need to live a happy, healthy life.
What animal are you interested in learning more about? Pick an animal and draw it, its habitat, and how it adapts. Keep in touch with it. Please take a photo and upload it to the gallery!**
Activity 5 – Spend time in Nature
We, humans, are alive and live in a world of incredible and always-evolving forms of life. How well do we know other life forms? How do we connect with them? How do we coexist with them? Biophilia is a term that describes our affinity for and association with life in all of its forms.Find a place in your community that is surrounded by nature. It could be a nature preserve, a park, or a river edge. Collect your supplies- a camera, pencils, sketchbook, etc. and find a place to sit without interruption. Visit this site at different times of the day, as the presence of wildlife will vary from morning to noon to late afternoon.
Draw, photograph, and take notes on what you see at three different times of the day. Share what you experience in the gallery!
Start spending more time outside in nature.
Activity 6 – Befriend Nature
You can connect with nature every day in some way. You may have a history of walking to school or to work. You could pick up trash on the sidewalk or at the river’s edge, helping to spare garbage in the waterways. Maybe you find yourself helping a wild turkey cross the street, tiptoeing beside a bird’s nest with a mother sitting on her eggs, or planting a pollinator garden for bees and butterflies. As part of nature, people are asked to contribute positive actions to conserve all aspects of the biodiversity of life and the gifts they share with humans, like fresh air, freshwater, and rich topsoil to grow food. The EU passed aNature Law in which any new development must replace the biodiversity of flora and fauna that it removes to build streets and buildings. This charge to replenish nature is just beginning for more and more humans who recognize that human impact has changed the world of nature.
Each day, every day, ask yourself, what can I do today to take care of the Earth?
Activity 7 – Benefits of Nature
We, humans, are alive, and we live in a world full of incredible and always-evolving forms of life. How well do we know other life forms? How do we connect with them? How do we coexist with them? Biophilia is a term that describes our affinity for and association with life in all of its forms.
Find a place in your community that is surrounded by nature. It could be a nature preserve, a park, or a river edge. Collect your supplies- a camera, pencils, sketchbook, etc. and find a place to sit without interruption. Visit this site at different times of the day, as the presence of wildlife will vary from morning to noon to late afternoon. Add your nature notes and drawings to your journal. Think about spending more time in and with nature.
Draw, photograph, and take notes on what you see at three different times of the day.
- 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design
- 22 Environmental Scientists
- Ancient Greek Naturalists
- Biomimicry Foundation
- Biophilic Cities
- China's Greatest Naturalist Li-Shih Chen
- Cousteau Foundation
- E.O. Wilson
- History of Ecology WIKIPedia
- History of Naturalism
- Linnean Classification System
- Renaissance Naturalists
- South African Naturalists
- Stanford Renaissance Natural Philosophers
- Wyland Foundation
- Xunzi and Early Chinee Naturaliim
- Biophilic Architecture
- Experience Design
- Green Roofs
- Life Cycles
- Place Exploration
- Pocket Parks
- Rain Gardens
- Solar Energy
- Sound Mapping
- Well Being