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Vitamin N

Clarise Reichley

Author and activist, Richard Louv, has grown up writing about nature, from his first article published in the town paper when he was 13 to nine published books, he has raised much awareness on, ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’, which is becoming a seemingly common diagnosis for many kids around the world. Some of his fondest childhood memories were spent with his dog, Collie, spending hours in nature. ‘Nobody knew where I was. . . except my dog!’ He shares his definition of nature which is, ‘being in the meaningful presence of species not my own.’ And he later goes on to say that, ‘I leave the definition of nature up to the poets.’ When asked his favorite activity in his book, he immediately answers, ‘Hiking With Bigfoot,’ which was actually created by his son, Matt. He writes, ‘Pick an area with reported activity, and hike. . . at a place and time of year when berries are ripe, where ferns, water plants, and other edibles are plentiful. Try hitting the truck of a tree with a large piece of wood and quietly wait to see if anything knocks back.’ By spending time in nature, it has been shown that many symptoms can be reduced. From obesity to anxiety and helping one’s immune system as well as benefitting depression. Louv even says, ‘Nature makes me feel more peaceful.’ The book, Vitamin N, Louv’s most recent work, is a guide to getting out in nature and helping to heal ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ which has become common in this modern day and age where society is dominated by technology. It focuses on helping both kids and adults unplug and enjoy what gifts the natural world has. From activities such as writing suggestions to climbing trees, there are 500 ways to help make nature a bigger part of daily life. All in all, Louv concludes that, ‘You begin to not trust that empty lot over there, with beautiful trees, because you're afraid it won't be there tomorrow.’ Nature is being taken bit by bit from modern lives and Richard Louv is standing up for a revolution against Nature Deficit Disorder.