Tag Archives: technature balance

5 Gadgets To Help Your Technature Balance

Time to connect with nature!

Spring is in the air here in the Northern Hemisphere and the sap is starting to rise.  If you’re feeling the urge to get outdoors, to move your wintry limbs, or just dig your fingers in the soil and start growing something, take a look at these five gadgets. They may help you achieve a healthier technature balance.

 You may not have access to a garden or even a balcony, but you can still grow fresh herbs for your table with this popular kit. Ideal for everyone from beginners to experts. There’s nothing like scattering your own homegrown basil across a bowl of spag bol. This kit has everything you need to start an indoor herb garden (a planter box, 3 rustic pots, growing medium & seeds).

Just the act of touching natural materials like wood and stone can calm your mind and help your technature balance. This case comes in over 10 different kinds of wood: cherry, bamboo, ash, elm, maple, mahogany and others, each with a unique grain and texture. Keep nature always close at hand.

 Another way to keep the touch of nature in your life is by using computer kit made of natural materials, like this bamboo keyboard and mouse. When you need a break, just pause for a while and focus on the energy and growth that gave rise to the wood beneath your fingers.

4. Fitbit Blaze activity tracker/smart fitness watch. £150.81*

March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers. The weather is pretty unpredictable at this time of year, but Fitbit Blaze will track your activity both indoors and outdoors. It maps your routes, tracks your steps, and monitors your heart rate while you speed around the park, saunter along the beach, or just workout at the gym. Connect your body to the world around you.

5. All-New Kindle Oasis with Black Leather Charging Cover, 6” High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi £269.99*

 Spending time outdoors doesn’t have to mean running around like a maniac. Personally, I prefer settling down under a shady tree and reading for an hour or so. Did you know that the aromatics given off by trees can be very healthful, and even reduce your heart rate?  This new Kindle is light to carry and offers varying levels of brightness – ideal in unpredictable weather. And if you want to take it wandering in the wilderness, no worries, the leather charging cover can keep it going for months.

*Correct at the time of going to press

Find Your Technature Balance (video)

Not so long ago, many of us worried about ‘worklife balance’. At its simplest, it meant making sure you divided your time sensibly between hours of work and hours of, well, everything else.

Today, we worry more about finding a balance between the time we spend online… and… everything else. And one of the most important parts of  that ‘everything else’ is the time we spend in nature. Today, we don’t worry so much about worklife balance, but we do worry about technature balance.

What Is Technature Balance?

Let’s face it, many of us are connected to the internet pretty much all the time. It’s where we work, where we play, where we meet up with people and stay in touch with distant friends and family.

All of that’s fine. But there’s something else we could be connecting to that has rather fallen by the wayside. Planet Earth. The soil beneath our feet. The air we breathe. The forests, beaches, fields, mountains, lakes and gardens of the natural world.

Today, most of us live in cities. Beyond the occasional urban park, they’re not exactly rich in greenery.

And long before the smartphone arrived, people who live in cities were already pretty accustomed to life without nature, but now it is fashionable to blame technology for that separation.

That is incorrect. It is we who are responsible. We thought we could concrete over the fields and design a better life for ourselves, free of nature’s wildness and uncertainties. But it’s very obvious now that this was the wrong way to go.

What we must do now is develop a new kind of balance, a technature balance. One which helps us live more healthily in cities, and more naturally with our technology.

Find Your Own Technature Balance

I’ve recorded a video explaining the notion of technature balance along with some practical advice on how to achieve it. In fact, just watching the film itself is an exercise in balancing the two, since it requires you to set aside five minutes of time to sit quietly and relax while you listen.

It ends with an invitation to audit your own technature balance. Here are some of the questions:

  • How many natural materials do you physically touch every day – real wood, soil, leaves, flowers, and vegetables.
  • When you need to rest your eyes, where do you look? At clouds, at trees, at gardens?
  • Did you tend a plant? Stroke an animal? Seek out a ray of sunlight and raise your face to its warmth?

I’d love you to share the results in the comments below, on the Technobiophilia Facebook Page, or on Twitter tagged #technature. I look forward to hearing how it feels for you!

Don’t know where to start? Here are a few tips:

  1. Images of nature can reduce stress and slow down your heart-rate so choose new pictures for your desktop wallpapers and screensavers.  Trees, water, blue skies and flowers all work well.
  2. Treat yourself to something made from real wood to add to your digital life – a mouse, a keyboard, a smartphone case. Enjoy the organic warmth, much more restorative than plastic.
  3. Take a trip into virtual reality to explore VR forests, plains, deserts, and oceans. Second Life has a wealth of landscapes to explore. Pause your shootout in Grand Theft Auto to take scenic photos of the glorious mountain ranges. Treat yourself to an Oculus Rift VR headset and open up whole new vistas.
  4. Go outside. Choose a topic to learn about this year – the shore, hedgerows, birds – and take your smartphone with you. There are lots of apps especially created for the outdoors, so remember – there’s no need to log off if you don’t want to.