Published on Thu, 01/06/2011 by Nature Conservancy of Canada

Finding Happiness in your own Backyard

After the presents are unwrapped, the turkey is eaten and the kids are back in school, many Canadians begin the New Year ready to follow-through on resolutions to live happier, more fulfilling lives. Although happiness implies different things to everyone – from exercising more, to eating more healthily or getting personal finances in order – a new poll suggests that feeling happy can be as easy as connecting to nature.

The recent Ipsos Reid poll, conducted on behalf of the Nature Conservancy Canada (NCC), shares some simple ways to find fulfillment that don’t include gym workouts or shopping withdrawal. The survey revealed that 87 per cent of Canadians agree that the more connected they feel to nature, the happier they are.

“Nature has benefits that go beyond clean air and water,” said John Zelenski, a professor of experimental psychology at Ottawa’s Carleton University who actively studies human connectedness to nature. “Nature has a profound impact on our psychological well-being and happiness.” And since we are surrounded by one of the world’s most beautiful natural environments, Canadians are already one step ahead in their search for contentment.

But this is something that we don’t take for granted. The Ipsos Reid poll also showed that many Canadians are deeply concerned about the need to conserve the vast natural areas we are fortunate to be graced with today. In fact, 85 per cent are worried that those areas will not endure for future generations. Faced with the possibility of the compromised happiness of their children and grandchildren, it is not surprising that 75 per cent of Canadians say that it’s personally important to them to conserve natural areas.

Fortunately, there are numerous ways to get involved and make a difference. Canadians can help by working to protect natural areas and the species they sustain by supporting the Nature Conservancy of Canada. By volunteering time to NCC through the Conservation Volunteers program or making a donation, including a bequest of life insurance and estate or gifts of stock, Canadians can ensure a legacy that all can enjoy for years to come.

“The passion and generosity of people across Canada will guarantee that NCC can continue to protect the land that brings Canadians so much joy.” said John Lounds, President of the NCC.

So, this New Year, resolve to become a force for nature, and do something worthwhile and lasting. Get back to nature and invest in its future by donating or volunteering. The key to happiness and that of our children truly is in our own hands.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is the nation’s leading land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. To learn more visit: