Another tip from "Go Green, Live Rich" by David Bach is to Get Outdoors.
Did you know that almost 700 million acres of U.S. land is owned by the public and managed by various agencies for outdoor recreation. From urban parks, to hiking trails to dense forests, the outdoors is a great way to appreciate the beauty of the earth and save green.
So how does Getting Outdoors help you Go Green, Live Rich. Let's a take a look.
- Being outside and disconnected from the constant stream of media can lessen its pull on your spending habits. In economics, life is always about trade-offs. If you are outside, it means you are not watching tv, it means you are not shopping, it means you are off of social media (sometimes) and it will lead to less marketing exposure and less need to buy things to keep you occupied.
- Hiking, running, brisk walking, bike riding are all activities that require minimal investment. Compare this to the price of gym memberships and you will find that a stroll in a nearby park will be as cost efficient and better for you.
- Being at a state or local park can be more fun than going to expensive amusements parka. Kids just want run around, touch and explore. When you think about the price of amusement parks, state and local parks can provide the same amount of stimulation. In the end, both will lead to kids passed out in the backseat after some sun and fresh air.
- It allows you to meet and interact people who you may normally not say hi to. Sometimes, we are so busy running from one place to the other that we don't say hello to each other. In the trails, you are sometimes forced to say "Hi."
- Being outdoors helps your adventurous spirit. It asks you to remove all doubts and asks you to just trust your gut and your instincts. You learn from exploration and mistakes.
- Being outdoors clears your mind and allows you to focus on the present moment. It frees you up from many day-to-day distractions.
- The more you see the beauty of nature, the more you'll want to take care of it. By enjoying nature, you will be more apt to make more conscious decisions that have greater impact on preserving the earth.
I spent the first 9 years of my life in the Philippines. We lived across from a large park where people ran, played tennis, soccer, bike, etc. It was normal for kids to be out and about in groups. We'd play ball with sticks and learned how to bike on our won without training wheels. We got our exercise. It wasn't until quite recently (the past 2 years), that I have started appreciating the outdoors. I've done the occasional rafting, camping, hiking, but these were once a year type of things. When I started my journey toward minimalism, I spent a lot of time removing items that I no longer needed. This in turn created more room in my life for things that I valued. I wasn't cleaning up as often so I had more time. With minimalism, I also became more conscious of what I brought into my home so shopping no longer became a past time. Growing up, I lived in between 2 malls. We sometimes spent Saturdays and Sundays hanging out and shopping. It was a way to pass time. Now, I've been finding more and more areas to visit. I found a trail close to my house that I didn't even know existed. I'm learning more and more about nature preserves, trails, hiking etiquette and hiking gear.
My advice with Getting Outdoors is to start simple. You don't need all of the best gear. You don't need to do the longest trail. Start easy, but go often. You will be surprised at how much enjoyment you will find and how much you can accomplish.
Here are some references to get started:
- http://publiclands.org/ - lists public lands in the Western U.S.
- http://www.blm.gov/ - Burea of Land Management
- http://www.fs.fed.us/ - USDA Forest Service
- https://www.nps.gov/index.htm - National Park Service
- Search Google state parks in your area