In the fall, Ellen was part of an exhibition at Sinsa House in Seoul showcasing sustainable efforts in the Korean fashion and automotive industries. In a joint effort between environmentalist David de Rothschild and Hyundai Motor Cars, Seoul citizens were invited to the REWILD YOURSELF project. Here, city dwellers were able to step out of their busy indoor city lives and into a forest-like natural environment to experience its impact on them. Some visitors said it took them right back to their childhood….. find out more details through the interview below.
Interview at sinsa house, seoul
Sinsa House: Please introduce yourself!
EL: My name is Ellen Loasby. I work in outdoor education as a Nature Guide, encouraging especially children to connect to and learn about Nature. This experiential learning happens in small groups and changes with the needs of the participants. I worked with Green Steps in Shanghai in the past few years, and now – that I have moved to Seoul, I am working on establishing “Green Steps Seoul” to promote nature-based education and training here.
Sinsa House: Tell us about Green Steps. What do you do?
EL: We’re about getting you close with Nature, getting you to care about nature for your own and the Earth’s wellbeing. We design & facilitate nature-based activities, train nature guides (mainly kindergarten and Primary school teachers), and provide a gamified ARK platform to track learning, connect communities and provide resources.
Sinsa House: So what is the REWILD YOURSELF project about that you were involved in here?
EL: This project is a joint project between Hyundai Motor Cars and David de Rothschild’s organisation Voices For Nature. The Forest Green Space was created to let visitors experience how they feel in a natural space. The project promotes equal access to nature for all and encourages people to follow on a healing path of one’s inner nature that comes from time spent in Nature.
Sinsa House: How can we connect to Nature then? Most people don’t have much time for this.
EL: Yes, true. The majority of us spend no more than a few minutes outdoor in natural spaces per day, even children which is concerning for our overall health and wellbeing! The Rewild Yourself project encourages people in Seoul to get in touch with Nature by providing information on green spaces in the city where you can get close to wildlife, on some species of wildlife that you can find in the city and a list of so called “re-wilders”, organisations such as Green Steps who help you to experience and learn about nature, but also forest kindergartens, bird watching groups, nature artists and others. All at your fingertip through scanning a qr code via your phone.
I find it is also a question of value and priorities: as we recognise the value we get from spending time in nature – and there are many benefits on all levels: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual – we are much more likely to make time for it.
We all can benefit from increasing our connection to nature. It’s simple to start growing closer to Nature: connecting is about feeling not knowledge, you don’t need to know the name of every plant around you to appreciate it or be inspired by something for example. It is more what we do in nature, not how long we spend in it. Grow your listening and observation skills, what are you taking in of the living world that surrounds you and -looking inward – how does it make you feel? Does it refresh you, calm you, excite you, inspire you?
Sinsa House: You said that nature connection unites people and nature’s wellbeing?
El: Yes, that’s right. Our futures are linked – we can benefit from nature a lot more, if our natural environment is healthy. The more we understand – and not just intellectually, but with all our body and soul – the importance of a healthy natural environment to our livelihood – the more we will look after it, become guardians of it to protect and respect it. We are all part of the natural world – and need to learn to really value it as equal in the right to be living!
Sinsa House: Wow, I can hear the environmentalist in you! Are you?
EL: I actually never thought of myself as one, but it is true that if you feel a deep connection to nature, you will automatically become one! Just like you would naturally look after your own family. Why would you hurt, pollute, destroy your own living environment? Why would you not protect it? We all need to become guardians of our Earth.
Sinsa House: Thank you Ellen for chatting to us about all of this. Where or how can people who want to link up find you?
EL: Thank you Sinsa House for hosting this exhibition and giving us a chance to reach out to people in Seoul to raise awareness about the importance of natural spaces and getting closer to nature! If you’d like to take some green steps with us, you can find us on:
FB: Green Steps Seoul
LinkedIn: Ellen Loasby
Green Steps Seoul community page: https://ark.greensteps.me/community/green-steps-seoul
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +82 10 5126 1966
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