Human beings have five basic needs—air, water, food, rest, and education—that are not being adequately met in a frenetic and resource-hungry modern life. Basic human needs are particularly challenged by:
- An uncontrollable outdoor environment — Urbanization, pollution, and climate change increasingly disturb and degrade our landscapes, weather patterns, and air quality.
- Food security — Weather, pollutants, and pests impair outdoor food production, making food quality and quantity less predictable
- A restless lifestyle — Rest deprivation is a common symptom for plugged-in urban dwellers. Associated stress is a leading cause of diseases like cancer.
- Hands-off learning — Younger generations learn better through hands-on activities and demand educational approaches that acknowledge this need.
North Americans, especially the elderly, spend over 90% of their time indoors, placing them in environments that are unsuited to their well-being. Recent research shows, however, that simple exposure to nature can significantly improve well-being as well as other metrics like work productivity.