Muir believed, “There is a love of wild nature in everybody” and that "Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike."
Now there is proof he was right and that living around nature is better for your health, and as the new research suggests — and may even extend your life. According to the journal Environmental Health Perspectives a study found people who live in “greener” areas, with more vegetation around, live longer likely thanks to factors such as improved mental health, social engagement and physical activity that come with living near green spaces.
Over 100,000 female registered nurses in the U.S. since 1976 have participated in the National Institutes of Health Nurse’s Health Study. This study’s researchers actually used satellite data to assess the amount of green vegetation surrounding each participant’s home during the study. Those who had the most vegetation within 800 feet of their home suggested greenness can affect health. Places with more vegetation are generally thought to be less polluted, and the presence of vegetation, itself, can help keep air cleaner. And green spaces like parks can help encourage people to get outside, exercise and engage with other people — all factors that can improve overall health. The effects on mental health may be important, as this study suggested.
“If we had a medication that did this — a medication that prolonged life, that addressed very different unconnected causes of disease, that did it at no cost and with no side effects — that would be the best medication of the decade,” dean of the school of public health at the University of Washington, Howard Frumkin said. “But we don’t have a medication like that except for this ‘Vitamin N’ — nature.”
I am thinking by making sure the green space around your home is really not polluted with lead from the mine waste used so commonly in Ottawa County by calling to have your yard and gravel driveways sampled would help with your own mental health by reducing stress knowing if it tests safe, what a relief, if it tests high, having it removed at no cost to you! Larry Gatewood told me this week he was really pleased with the work that had to be done at his place. Two people called to get that number in one afternoon, so let me give it again: 1-800-533-3508, leave a message, repeat it and call and leave it again when you think of it. If you are pleased with the work that has been done by EPA on your property, we have Lead Free Yard signs we would love for you to post in your yard to encourage your neighbors to do their part for the neighborhood and the green space next to you.