Vitamin N: 500 ways to Enrich the Health & Happiness of Your Family & Community and Combat Nature-Deficit Disorder
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2016
I admit I’m something of a Richard Louv fangirl. I’ve loved his writing since his first book, Last Child in the Woods, came out in 2008. While I don’t have any children of my own, I still very strongly remember being a kid growing up in the 1980s, running rampant across our small-town Midwest neighborhood. Long summer days of looking for bugs under rocks, exploring the nooks and crannies in moss, and pushing my way through thickets of young Eastern red cedar set the stage for who I am as an adult. I mourn the fact that so many people in the decades since then have missed out on that experience.
This, then, is Louv’s practical antidote to our ongoing disconnection from nature. There really are five hundred ideas in this text, ranging from picking out a particular place in nature to sit and visit every day, to turning your back yard into a butterfly haven, to taking up birding. Many of them are geared toward families with children, but even the young at heart can get behind splashing in puddles, making seed bombs, or going on an expedition to find nearby nature, those parks, gardens and other small oases in an urban neighborhood.