Pledge to spend at least 30 minutes outside in June for the annual 30x30 Nature Challenge.
The built environment is all around us. It’s all the buildings we occupy and all the space between, like sidewalks, trails, and roads. Traditionally, humans have pushed nature aside, covered it up and dominated it – negating the benefits the natural world provides. However, the tradition is changing with the reality of climate change and human health issues.
At USGBC, we envision buildings and communities will regenerate and sustain the health and vitality of all life within a generation. We understand the way we decide to create spaces matters for our well-being and future of this planet. That’s why we developed the LEED rating system and support other systems, such as the WELL Building Standard and Sustainable SITES Initiative.
The challenge is simple.
Pledge to spend a minimum of 30 minutes in nature each day for 30 days in June. As an individual or group, it is no cost to pledge.
It seems like a simple task, but can you be outside without your phone or tablet? Have you taken time to acknowledge and appreciate the ecosystem services benefiting your well-being?
Who can participate?
Participation in the challenge can result in greater understanding of your interaction with nature and the built environment, as well as build a greater appreciation for natural spaces in our communities. Some studies show, taking time to spend in nature and having natural views can relieve stress, increase memory performance and creativity, and improve attention span.
Workplaces, schools, community groups, nature centers, families and individuals are all welcome to participate. For workplaces, schools, and community groups, we have guidance toolkits for running the challenge with sample messaging and timelines.
Join the challenge as an individual and can connect with our larger community through social media & events.
Getting your daily green time can be as easy as heading to a backyard, balcony or a neighborhood park. Nature is closer than you think.
A growing chorus of scientists and researchers agree: time spent in nature makes us happier, healthier and less stressed. It increases creativity and lowers risk of heart attacks. It even makes us kinder, more empathetic humans, with more meaningful relationships and increased community involvement.
Spending time outdoors benefits your health
Evidence shows that being regularly immersed in a natural setting — such as a park, wetland or woodlot — reduces blood pressure, anxiety and stress levels and boosts immunity. Simply having a view of nature leads to faster patient recovery times in hospitals and higher job satisfaction and increased concentration in office workers. Outdoor exercise increases energy levels and reduces anger, depression and obesity.
Outdoor activities inspire children's curiosity
For children, studies show that time outdoors, especially unstructured time in more natural settings, can increase curiosity, creativity and problem solving ability. It also improves their physical fitness and coordination and reduces symptoms associated with attention deﬁcit disorder. It can even reduce the likelihood of needing glasses for near-sightedness.
Studies also demonstrate that nature can have profound effects on entire neighborhoods or communities by improving job and life satisfaction of residents and aiding community cohesion and identity. It can even reduce violence and bridge the gap in health between high and low-income communities.
Given this amazing array of benefits and our increasing urbanization and isolation from nature, it is essential that we reframe our traditional view of nature as a place for leisure and sport toward one that emphasizes a full range of physical, mental and social health benefits.
Identify a team lead & challenge your organization to reap the benefits of nature during the work day.
Busy, high-tech lifestyles take a toll on staff: reduced productivity, lower job satisfaction and higher rates of absenteeism. But there’s an easy prescription for healthier, more creative workplaces: a regular dose of nature.
We want to feel happy and productive at work, not stressed and irritable. The 30×30 Nature Challenge for Workplaces is a simple and positive way to support health and mental well-being in your organization.
Register your workplace and get the official 30×30 Workplace Toolkit for tips, resources and fun workplace activities to engage your colleagues. Support wellness in your organization or company through the 30×30 Nature Challenge.
Encourage your community.
The nature challenge is an excellent way to engage an entire community and build camaraderie among neighbors. Communities can also use the challenge as a way to feature local businesses and organizations, as well as beautiful natural areas.
This is a great activity for groups like families, girl scouts, boy scouts, chambers of commerce, parks and recreation departments, municipalities and so many more.
Inspire kids' curiosity with outdoor activities.
Children today spend less time outdoors than any generation in human history. North American kids spend on average six hours each day in front of the TV or computer and less than an hour outdoors.
Time in nature can reduce stress and symptoms of attention-deficit disorders while boosting immunity, energy levels and creativity. Plus, children who spend time in nature are far more likely to protect it later in life.
The message is clear—kids need nature! And so do teachers.
If you’re a teacher or school administrator, register your school or classroom and get the 30×30 Challenge School Toolkit. It’s full of tips, resources and activity ideas to help you engage your students and colleagues.
Participating USGBC communities
Sponsorships & event partnerships
Be a part of a fun, unique program that reaches a diverse audience as a sponsor or event partner of the 2017 30x30 Nature Challenge.
Sponsoring the 30x30 Nature Challenge is an opportunity to connect with a wide audience, build brand awareness and show your company’s support of an important cause: improved human health and wellness through sustainable and resilient building practices.
Event Partners host June events that highlight their organizational expertise or dedication to a better built environment that enhances rather that disrupts the ecosystem services we need.