New research has shown over 50 per cent of Australians feel compelled to act in the interest of environmental causes after witnessing the devastation of the summer bushfires earlier this year. The younger community, aged 18 to 29, especially responded to the cause with over 60 per cent compelled to act. The research also found approximately 55 per cent of Australians felt that spending time in nature has helped improve their mood or ease anxieties during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
The statistics come as part of a new report from environmental foundation Planet Ark, released ahead of National Tree Day on August 2. The report, "Regeneration: for our land, our people and our future", focuses on the impact of the year's unprecedented events on Australia's environmental and collective well being.
We are calling on all Australians to make a pledge to regenerate through connecting with nature.Rebecca Gilling, Planet Ark Deputy CEO
The report incorporates insights from experts in the fields of regeneration ecology, indigenous fire management practices, psychology and family well being, to explore how our land and communities have been impacted and how together, we can start the journey towards regeneration.
Planet Ark Deputy CEO, Rebecca Gilling, said in response to the report's findings and following the cancellation of public plantings for the first time in 25 years, Planet Ark's National Tree Day is encouraging Australians to share a photo of themselves with a tree or their favourite plant with the hashtag #HugATreeForNTD as a commitment to regeneration.
"After the unparalleled start to the year we have had here in Australia, regeneration of our land and our well being is more critical now than ever," she said. "We are calling on all Australians to make a pledge to regenerate through connecting with nature, whether that be by planting a tree in the backyard, doing some weeding in local bushland or simply hugging a tree".