The biophilia hypothesis suggests that there is an instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems. Edward O. Wilson introduced and popularized the hypothesis in his book, Biophilia (1984). He defines biophilia as “the urge to affiliate with other forms of life.”
The benefits of biophilia
• trigger endorphin effect
• lower blood pressure
• boost the brain’s attention
• accelerate patients’ recovery at home and hospitals
• reconnect with nature
• protect the environment and tackle air pollution
According to research, the biophilia effect can be enhanced just with views and pictures of nature. Spending time in nature, parks, woods, forests, by the sea, etc is the most option.
Forest bathing is a form of meditation in the natural world based on the biophilia hypothesis. ‘Forest bathing’ is a translation of the Japanese concept of shinrin-yoku, developed in the 1980s for the good of public health. Other popular Japanese lifestyle concepts are wabi-sabi, the art of imperfection, kanso and danshari.
Planting and preserving trees is one of the key ways to lock up carbon, clean our air and provide environments for wildlife. It makes good financial sense, too. The statistics are clear, Natural England, suggests that for every £1 spent on trees, the UK saves £7 in healthcare, energy and environmental costs. According to a poll by YouGov, nine in 10 Londoners think it is important that we have more trees in London. I’m sure it would be the same for other cities and towns on this planet.
“We need to get away from the idea that nature is for the countryside and not for cities.”
Dan Raven-Ellison is a guerrilla geographer and explorer