Gather is a community-based educational resource that promotes the concept of “sacred sustainability”—the fostering of harmony between individuals, community, the economy and the planet’s life supporting ecosystems.
After all, it’s pretty clear that modern western culture is in the grip of what author and psychologist Richard Louv calls “nature deficit disorder”. We eat industrially processed food and live, sleep and work in artificial environments that minimize our contact with nature. And as David Suzuki points out (see here) – “with more than 80 per cent of Canadians now living in urban settings, many of us lack a meaningful, regular connection with the natural environment.” This state of affairs, according to Louv and Suzuki, has disastrous implications for our health and well-being. Because as we plunder our forests and farmland, poison our food, water, air and land—we’ve lost touch with a vital truth—it’s the earth, not technology, that sustains us.
That’s why Gather is good medicine. We believe the cure for nature deficit disorder lies where we live, work, eat, learn, and play—in our own backyards, our neighborhoods, our city streets and parks. Our wild food nature-based events are grounded in an important tenet of “deep ecology”—the idea that it will take more than environmental laws to achieve true sustainability. We need to re-establish our personal connection with the earth.
Countless studies show that spending time in nature improves our physical, emotional and mental health, reducing blood pressure, stress and anxiety. But communing with nature isn’t just good for us, it’s good for the planet. Suzuki writes “Getting in touch with the outdoors has another great benefit: those who know and love nature work harder to protect it”, becoming involved in environmental causes such as protecting wild spaces, greening urban neighborhoods and creating local sustainable food systems. And in this time of ecological crisis, that’s pretty great news. That’s why Gather is committed to enhancing personal and planetary well-being by uniting people in biophilia—the love of nature.