Sustainability and the Natural Environment

Sustainability has strong links to the natural environment. For people living in urban environments, it is easy to overlook the importance of the natural world around us – we take it for granted that the environment will continue to function as it always has. We need to remember that humans (just like all plants and animals) are in constant state of exchange with nature (the air we breathe, the water we drink).

But our connection with nature is deeper than that. Humans depend on the natural world for natural resources, supply of medicines and other products, and knowledge about the natural world contributes to human innovation. Many people need to maintain a connection to nature to sustain their cultural and spiritual identity. Additionally, getting out and interacting with nature has been shown to have positive long-term physical and mental health benefits for everyone.

Getting outdoors and experiencing nature is great to make you feel alive – this could be in your backyard, at a neighbourhood park, or visiting a scenic landscape.

Need some fresh ideas? Try these…


Outdoor Activities (For kids)

  • Plant something and watch it grow. You could plant seeds in small tub on a windowsill, or plant vegetables in pots or garden, or in local landscape with a community group such as Landcare.
  • Create a simple treasure hunt for backyard or neighbourhood. Make-up a list of things to find – for example, a rough-barked tree, clouds, a long leaf, rocks, etc.
  • Make an outdoor cubby house using old sheets, blankets, ropes, poles and trees.
  • Go walking. Take a backpack, water bottle and some food. Walk to a natural area and have a picnic.
  • Go cycling
  • Sandcastles. Go to the beach or somewhere with a sandpit. Build sandcastles and then use a watering can to make “rain” and watch the result.
  • Collect some natural materials such as rocks, leaves, gumnuts or bark. Get creative and paint them, glue them to paper, make stencils or create games.


Outdoor Activities (For adults or kids)

  • Go cycling. Plan your trip so it includes riding through a natural area.
  • Join a local community group that has outdoor activities.
  • Go camping or bush walking. If that is too hectic, set up a hammock outdoors and relax.
  • Organise a boating trip. Go sailing or canoeing or enjoy swimming in a natural landscape.
  • Fly a kite, throw a frisbee, or kick a ball.
  • Look at night sky with binoculars or telescope. Learn about astronomy.
  • Take photographs of landscapes or close-ups of objects in natural world.


We recommend the following websites for more ideas:

Central Gippsland 

Parks Victoria

DELWP Visiting State Forests 

The Grand Strzelecki Track


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