Koala Eco recently became a sponsor of the Critter Scholars Program, an initiative of ocean conservation organisation the Oceanic Society. The program makes it possible for disadvantaged teenagers get up close to and learn about marine wildlife in the San Francisco Bay area.
That’s how we met the Oceanic Society’s manager of Strategic Growth and Partnerships, Rosie Jeffrey, who is also an avid traveller, certified PADI Divemaster, and returned Peace Corps volunteer. Rosie is passionate about everything to do with sustainable tourism and the environment, especially the underwater environment. We asked Rosie to tell us about her connection to nature.
What’s your favourite thing to do in nature?
Hands down, being in the ocean. Whether it's scuba diving, snorkelling, surfing or swimming, I find there's something magical about being surrounded by the vastness of the sea. If I had to choose, it would be scuba diving. It allows me to feel deeply connected to the underwater world in a way that no other activity can match. Being weightless and suspended in the water, surrounded by the vibrant colours of marine life is so peaceful and awe-inspiring and it fuels my adventurous spirit.
Describe your connection to nature: what positives does it bring to your life?
Nature is my go-to place for calming the noise of everyday life. Being outside grounds me, it is my space to be fully present, unencumbered by technology and distractions. Immersing myself in nature, I am constantly amazed by the intricate details of our planet, from the delicate construction of a bird's nest to the shifting colours of a sunset, to the elaborate patterns etched into a leaf. It sounds cheesy, but prioritising these small details has yielded numerous benefits for me, including heightened focus, creativity, and mindfulness.
What are your fondest memories of spending time in nature?
I am lucky to have had some incredible and life-changing experiences in nature. But oddly enough, when I think of my fondest memories, my mind always goes back to my childhood. I would happily spend countless hours engaged in simple yet captivating activities, like playing in the dirt, building forts, eagerly searching for four-leaf clovers, and meticulously combing the beach for seashells. It wasn’t anything fancy, but these experiences played a significant role in shaping my appreciation for nature and fostering an unwavering curiosity for the natural world.
Many of us are time-poor and might not get out into nature as much as we’d like. Any suggestions for a quick nature-based pick-me up? Something sensory, experiential…?
Just like one of your recent interviewees [Anna Shafer] I too swear by Andrew Huberman's advice to spend a few minutes outside every morning and evening. It is crucial to our circadian rhythms to get that natural light, and starting the day with some fresh air and sunlight puts me in a positive and calm state of mind. If you have a yard or a balcony, another idea is to add native flora to your outdoor space and watch the birds, bees, and butterflies come and visit.