The average American spends 93% of their life indoors. 87% of that time is spent inside (the other 6% is spent in automobiles). This means that only 7% of the average American’s life is spent outdoors according to an EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) report. This is so unfortunate considering that spending time outdoors is one of the easiest ways to improve your overall health and wellbeing.
Research Supports the Benefits of Being Outside
Research suggests that spending time outside can have multiple benefits and function as a natural medicine. The importance of communing with nature seems obvious. “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order,” naturalist John Burroughs aptly remarked. Time spent in nature can significantly impact our physical and emotional well-being in surprising ways. Nature can boost your mood with measurable improvements in attention, memory, and concentration.
FIVE KEY BENEFITS TO BEING AND EATING OUTSIDE
1. NATURE SOOTHES
Being in the outdoors, and eating outside lowers our stress hormones, reduces the heart rate and lowers blood pressure, and eases muscle tension.
2. SUNSHINE IMPROVES MOOD, REGULATES HORMONES
Outside of the benefits that come with vitamin D, sunshine, in general, is important for the proper creation of melatonin, serotonin, and stem cells. It also aids in the proper functioning of the immune system and metabolism.
3. IMPROVES CONCENTRATION
The area of the brain where Directed Attention Fatigue occurs is the same area that kids with ADHD have trouble with. According to researchers, exposure to nature increases creativity, problem-solving, and is a potential treatment for ADHD symptoms.
4. FRESH AIR BOOSTS IMMUNITY
In one study, those who had spent time in the woods for three days had an increase of natural killer cells (which stop viruses and tumor formation). This increase lasted for more than 30 days. This increase is thanks to the phytoncides given off by trees and plants.
The surface of the earth has a negative ionic charge. Grounding helps to release the overload of extra positive ions we accumulate from our 'devices' and carry around with us, causing poor sleep, irritability, stress, chronic pains, and more. Grounding restores our balance and can help you sleep better, feel better, and heal faster.
Eating Outdoors is Good for Us
Eating in the outdoors also can do wonders for our concentration, stress levels, and creativity further supported by this article from Harvard Medical School. The phrase al fresco (ahl freh skoh) is Italian, and means outside, or 'in the fresh air.' Alfresco is most commonly used to describe a meal, like a picnic or a barbecue, that you eat out of doors in fine weather. And that suits us just fine.
Products That Bring You Closer to Nature
Whether you are picnicking on a patch of grass in the park, barbecuing in your backyard, hiking, or going camping in the backcountry, we have the products that help bring you closer to nature and reduce your need for plastic.
A lightweight and portable all-purpose cutting board is essential equipment. Bamboo has a high strength to weight ratio. That means you get a durable cutting surface at a fraction of the weight.
Best cutting boards for picnics or the outdoors? Try our compact versions of our most popular bamboo cutting boards.
Handsome and durable compostable Veneerware® plates and utensils are the perfect choice for picnics, tailgaters, barbeques or even outdoor wedding events. Only Veneerware® is made from certified organic bamboo. These plates are consistent in color and free of blemishes. When you open a package of Veneerware® bamboo plates, you’ll notice the subtle scent of freshly cut grass making for a truly natural dining experience. After all, bamboo is actually a grass.
If you are entertaining, we have you covered with a full range of sustainable dinnerware available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Tasting Plates and Appetizer Plates are always good to have on hand, and the 7-inch plates (round, square or fancy) are great for a side dish, salad or dessert. And, you can choose from square or round 9-inch dinner plates.
You need a few dependable items to make up your mess kit. These are favored by campers and are worth space in your kit.
This all-purpose spatula was originally designed as a good rice paddle to replace the cheap plastic ones you get with a rice cooker. But this is so much more. It has become a favorite among campers. It's compact, lightweight, and shaped to get into the corners of your pots and stirfry pan. The perfect companion for the mess kit.
Our newest spatula is among our most popular spatulas whether you are cooking indoors, or out. This has become an indispensable cooking utensil for many. We call it a wok spatula, but you do not need to cook over a wok to appreciate this handy spatula. Read more about our favorite spatula here.
ON THE TRAIL, ON THE ROAD
You don't need to travel to appreciate and put to use this well-designed bamboo cutlery set. Sold in your choice of hemp or cork fabric, this will be your 'go to' cutlery whether you're picnicking, or bringing along take-out.
This compact, multi-purpose eating utensil will come in handy if you want to avoid plastic cutlery or don't want to be bogged down by unnecessary silverware. Like all of our bamboo cooking utensils and eating utensils, this is the only product made from USDA certified organic bamboo. Look for the familiar USDA organic seal.
These are just some suggestions we have to offer to take along with you on your next outdoors outing whether it's the park, a campsite, or your own backyard. Check out our full range of products for the Outdoors here. The important thing is that you take the time and get yourself outside. The outdoors provides us so many benefits. Let's take advantage of what the outdoors offers us.