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30x30_Wisconsin_2016

June 2016

Birds are singing, the breeze smells sweet and trees are budding. With Wisconsin’s weather finally warming up, our minds turn to weekend hikes, bike rides, fishing, weekly golf and yard work. Starting June 1st, several employers in the greater Oconomowoc area will begin encouraging their employees to spend 30 minutes a day out in nature.  For the third year in a row, several local businesses are coming together to sponsor the U.S. Green Building Council’s 30×30 Nature Challenge.

The Oconomowoc Chamber of Commerce’s Sustainable Business Initiative Committee is challenging people in business and their respective companies to spend 30 minutes a day in nature for 30 days (June 1st – 30th).   Unplug from your cell phone, tablet, e-readers and all electronic devices and connect with the natural world around you for 30 minutes a day.  It is FREE to participate and you can participate as an individual or a group.

The 2016 challenge is sponsored by:  City of Oconomowoc, Compass Point Consulting, Evolution Marketing, First Bank Financial Centre, Greener Oconomowoc, Inpro, Kettle Moraine Health Center, Lake Country Private Medical, Oconomowoc Area Chamber of Commerce Sustainable Business Committee, ProHealth Care, Sentry Equipment Corp., Tall Pines Conservancy, Waukesha County Parks System and Waukesha – Ozaukee – Washington County Workforce Development Center.

More info on the local challenge

Special Kick Off Event to take place in Oconomowoc on June 1st, 2016. 

 

Evolution Marketing is once again proud to sponsor the 30×30 Nature Challenge

Click here to sign up OR to learn more!

Boost your creativity


June 2015  Nature is calling! (2)

Evolution Marketing is a proud sponsor of the WGBA’s 30×30 Nature Challenge and we are sharing our experiences via the blog below!


Lake Country Area 30×30 Nature Challenge Blog

30x30The Wisconsin Green Building Alliance (WGBA) is challenging people across Wisconsin to spend 30 minutes a day in nature for 30 days (June 1st – 30th).   Unplug from your cell phone, tablet, e-readers and all electronic devices and connect with the natural world around you for 30 minutes a day. 

The 2015 challenge blog is sponsored by:  City of Oconomowoc, Compass Point Consulting, Endurance House, Evolution Marketing, First Bank Financial Centre, Kettle Moraine Health Center, the Oconomowoc Area Chamber of Commerce Green Business Committee, Waukesha County Retzer Nature Center and a local WI Green Building Alliance Board Member. Join us in spending time in nature!

http://wgba.org/challenge  – click here to sign up

The Challenge:  spend 30 minutes a day in nature for 30 days   (that means you need to actually unplug from your life and connect with the natural world around you!)      

To read about all of our experiences in Oconomowoc and the Lake Country Area  click here

 

  ————-2015 Nature Challenge Blogs by the Evolution Marketing team————- 

30×30 Nature Challenge @ our Office

June 3rd, 2015

By Lisa Geason-Bauer –  Evolution Marketing

OfficePlantboarder

For the first day of the WI Green Building Alliance’s 30×30 Nature Challenge, we held a meeting outside in the yard, gardens surrounding the Evolution Marketing office. My creative director was in town and we spent about an hour talking about client projects and this blog while enjoying the beautiful summer day. After talk about work was concluded, I transplanted some oregano and mint plants into a pot for Kyle to take back to his home, garden. We also took a short walk around the Evolution Marketing gardens – talking about perennial flowers, herbs and the health benefits from eating produce directly from your garden.

When I went back in the office to work on my computer, I was re-charged and incredibly productive. Having a nice break away from the screens was priceless!

Ways to incorporate “nature” into your workday:

  • Take your break on a nearby park bench
  • Host a “walking meeting” through a local park or tree-lined street
  • Grab a blanket and invite colleagues for a picnic lunch in a nearby park
  • Bike or walk to work through green space
  • Skip the gym—take your exercise routine outside
  • Host your next staff retreat at a conservation area or outdoor center
  • Have your lunch meetings at restaurants with outdoor seating.
  • Take your lunch outside and see what images you can find in the clouds while you eat.

 In Oconomowoc, many folks walk during their lunch hour around Fowler Lake in all seasons, not just during the 30×30!

Deskflowerboarder

 

Chained to your computer, bring plants into your workspace in order to provide you with the health benefits of connecting with nature.  Recently, a fair amount of research has been done regarding benefits to workers when plants, flowers have been added to there workspace (check out the articles in the resources section below to learn more!).   Benefits include; increased productivity, reduced stress, reduced feelings of fatigue, anger, and anxiety in employees.

 Sign your workplace up to participate in the 30×30 Nature Challenge: http://wgba.shuttlepod.org/30x30work

 Photograph: Iris, Peonies & Tarragon from office gardens on Lisa’s desk

 

 

 

Additional Resources:

Just looking at nature can help your brain work better, study finds (article in the Washington Post, May 26th, 2015):

How plants in the office help workers to flourish: Greenery in the workplace can increase production by 15% (dailymail.com)

Prove It: Plants In The Workplace Show Major Benefits (blog article)


Are you NATURE- smart?

May 28th, 2015

By: Lisa Geason-Bauer, Evolution Marketing

nature-principle-cover-lrg“Nature-deficit disorder” as described by author Richard Louv who coined the phrase in his best selling books Last Child in the Woods (2005) and The Nature Principle (2011): is the loss of communion with other living things.  

Louv argues that humans (adults and children alike) have to learn to live in nature, not with nature….but as part of the natural system that surrounds our homes, apartments, businesses and communities. Louv makes a convincing case for the adoption of a nature-based existence. In his book, The Nature Principle he shares sound economic, social and environmental solutions to help humanity overcome nature-deficit disorder that will also benefit us individually as well.

bunny.fowlerI am fortunate to work and live in one of only two Wisconsin cities with access to two lakes in our downtown. No, I do not live in Madison, but the City of Oconomowoc and a couple blocks from both Fowler Lake and Lac La Belle.  The natural world is never far from my mind, as I am constantly reminded of the lakes as I pass them whenever travelling (either via foot, bike or in the Evolution Marketing zero emission car) from my home. Experiencing the lakes and surrounding ecosystem will all my senses grounds me and reminds me, I too am living in nature.

FowlerLakeLouv argues, “The future will belong to the nature-smart—those individuals, families, businesses, and political leaders who develop a deeper understanding of the transformative power of the natural world and who balance the virtual with the real. The more high-tech we become, the more nature we need.”

Do you want to be nature-smart? Join the Wisconsin Green Building Alliance’s 30×30 Nature Challenge and plan to spend at least 30 minutes a day for 30 days (June 1st – 30th) connecting with nature. Disconnect from your smart phones, tablets and all other electronic devices!

 

Sign Up for the Challenge : http://wgba.org/30x30joinFowlerLaker.benchesPicture of Fowler Lake, benches and picnic table, easy access for the public to connect with nature.

Nature-based existence in the Lake Country Areaover the next month individuals from several Lake Country Area businesses will share their experiences of living a nature-based existence during this years challenge. Book mark this blog (http://www.lakecountrynow.com/opinion/blogs/communityblogs/30×30.html) as our stories will be shared throughout the month.

 

Want to learn more? Check out additional resources:

 National Geographic article, “Connecting With Nature Boosts Creativity and Health”

Online resources & ideas for creating a restorative home and garden

 National Geographic interview with Dr. Michael Hutchins discussing nature deficit disorder and the impacts on our natural world (very informative interview!)

Short video about Nature Principle the book

 

Short video explaining nature deficit disorder

 

————-2014 Nature Challenge Blogs by the Evolution Marketing team————-

Nature through the Eyes of a Dachshund

June 25, 2014  

By Mike Bauer,  Evolution Marketing:

 

 Basil (Mike’s dog) eating mint from the Evolution Marketing garden.

“Come on Basil its time to go outside”…Here comes the pattering of little feet and the sound of a rattling collar running up the stairs and out the door.  He runs into the backyard immediately and starts smelling the raised bed herb garden next to our garage, standing on 2 paws to inspect and make sure everything is growing correctly. Those floppy ears then perk up as he hears the sounds of birds and children in the playground, but wait there is a rabbit behind that bush let’s go get it! However the sun is out, maybe I will just roll around in the grass for now. 

 

Basil decides that he wants to roll in the grass, and then he flops over.

         

Then he rolls around, he will actually roll several feet and he likes to roll down the hill in the back yard! 

Oh, what a great a life it must be to be a mini-dachshund. If I have learned anything during the 30×30 challenge this month, it is how to enjoy the great outdoors and connect with my dog Basil. Every time my wife and I let him out, it’s like he experiences the outside for the first time.   As humans we become complacent and taking the dog out for a walk or potty break in the yard is just something we do…yet when I watch how Basil reacts to the sights and smells of our yard, I am able to connect with nature through him.

The 30×30 challenge is about unplugging and connecting with nature, Basil has been a great reminder of how easy it is to enjoy the simple things in nature.


 ANGRY? Practice Horticulture Therapy *

June 3, 2014  

By Lisa Geason-Bauer, Evolution Marketing:

 

Above: From the Evolution Marketing garden – tomatoes, Brussels sprouts and mint growing.

The next time you find yourself  “angry and upset,” and about to say something you may regret…. take an “outdoor timeout.”  Stop what you are doing and go outside!  That’s right…find a little piece of green space (could be your yard, a trail, park, basically anywhere outside where there is green space).

During your “outdoor timeout,” look around and focus on the different types of plants, trees and shrubs that are surrounding you.  The color green is calming and research has shown that humans are able to reduce stress by simply viewing an attractive landscape. 

 Having a frustrating day?  Go work in your garden or yard.  Studies from around the world demonstrate the many benefits associated with gardening and yard maintenance.

 Benefits to gardening/yard work include:

– Reduction in stress

-Ability to quickly release aggression

-Improve muscle tone & coordination

-Reduce weight

-Exercise aerobically while pursuing constructive outcomes (i.e. pulling weeds, planting flowers etc..)

Th 30×30 Nature Challenge is about connecting with nature, can you use “outdoor timeouts” as part of your challenge? 

 

Above: Evolution Marketing raised bed garden, showcasing companion planting techniques.

FUN FACT – Horticultural Therapy

In 1971, Kansas State University became the first university in the United States to establish an undergraduate degree program in horticultural therapy and today remains as an academic leader in the discipline.

*Horticultural therapy is the use of plants and plant related activities to improve the social, educational, psychological and physical adjustment of an individual, thus improving mind, body and spirit.

Want to learn more…

Kansas State University Horticulture Therapy Links

American Horticultural Therapy Association

Horticultural Therapy Institute

 


Being in Nature, Poop & All 

May 27, 2014  

Pictured: Lavender (one of Lisa’s dogs) sitting next to the Evolution Marketing garden (photo taken in June 2013)

By Lisa Geason-Bauer, Evolution Marketing:

The other day I got an “alert” on my iPhone, which warned me that a severe weather front was moving into our area.  In an effort to prevent a doggie accident in my home, I gathered my two dogs, put them on leashes and went for a short walk around my neighborhood.    While walking my dogs, a bird pooped on me.

It took me about a minute to figure out what happened (i.e. that a liquid fell from the sky that was not water!)  I looked up and was shocked to see the robins flying in circles very low to the ground, right above my head.  In the distance I saw large black clouds rolling in and I could smell rain in the air.  As my dogs finished doing their business: I watched as the storm moved towards me, marveling at the natural beauty and power of the thunderstorm.

The 30×30 Nature Challenge is about connecting with nature, are you up to the challenge?  More info at www.oconomowoc-wi.gov/challenge