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Ecopsychology Statistics, David Suzuki Style

Scott Cooney | Tuesday June 16th, 2009 | 1 Comment

Continuing a line of previous posts on terrific eco-stats coming from David Suzuki’s Green Guide (on energy, food, and travel), here is a summary of eco-stats related to the ecopsychology (mental health results of living a green lifestyle) that can be used by any green business in the wellness industry.
First of all, what is ecopsychology? According to Ecopsychology.org:

At its core, ecopsychology suggests that there is a synergistic relation between planetary and personal well being; that the needs of the one are relevant to the other.

And while I don’t have a psychology degree, I can say with virtual certainty that it is just really good for your mental health to go outside, breathe deeply of crisp, fresh air, walk around in the woods and listen to the birds, go for a swim in a warm ocean or a cold mountain lake, enjoy a beautiful sunset from Corona Heights Park in San Francisco, or simply go and read a book in a city park.
Just thinking about it, you’re already noticing your heart rate and blood pressure dropping, and your breath deepening, aren’t you?
So here’s your eco-stats, courtesy of David Suzuki:

Studies have shown that contact with nature has a variety of health benefits: longer life expectancy, decreased stress, decreased fatigue, speedier recovery from illness.
People who get out and enjoy nature score higher in autonomy, vitality, personal growth, self-acceptance, positive emotions, and having a sense of purpose in life.
In 2006, the average American worked 360 more hours than the average German.
Meanwhile, happiness in America has declined since 1957.
This despite household earnings doubling.
Since 1950, the divorce rate in the U.S. has doubled.
Americans report lower happiness than Germans, despite more than double the consumption.
Scott Cooney is the author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and hopes that someday, the green economy will simply be referred to as…the economy.
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  • http://www.ecotherapyheals.com Linda Buzzell

    Suzuki is absolutely correct that nature-connection is a proven healing method for mental health issues.
    A new book has just been published by Sierra Club Books on applied ecopsychology (or green psychotherapy). “Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in Mind” is an anthology edited by ecotherapist Linda Buzzell and psychology professor Craig Chalquist.
    The anthology explores the greening of psychotherapy and the healing of the human-nature relationship. It features essays by Buzzell and Chalquist and also excellent pieces by cultural historian Theodore Roszak and Mary Gomes, (editors of the previous Sierra Club Books anthology, “Ecopsychology: Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind”), Joanna Macy, Andy Fisher (“Radical Ecopsychology”), Bill McKibben, Meredith Sabini (“The Earth Has a Soul: the Nature Writings of C.G. Jung”), Richard Louv (“Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder”), peak oil educator Richard Heinberg and many more. The foreword is by environmentalist David Orr.