Andres Edwards

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since Apr 25, 2019
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Recent posts by Andres Edwards

Hearing about Harrisburg, makes me want to see it! And green roofs do indeed attract birds another wildlife. What's really interesting about green roofs is how the seeds from the area eventually land on the roof and many unexpected plants grow there. It's also a fun place to grow berries!
1 year ago
I agree that some cities have much more green spaces that others. It sounds like Harrisburg, PA has the benefits that come with being in a larger city as well as nature all around you. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area also is somewhat unique for a large city and metropolitan area that has large amounts of open space nearby. There is the Bay but also many parks and trails that meander through the hills nearby. Because traffic is quite heavy most of the time, it seems that people tend to stay fairly local and do outdoor activities closest to where they live, which makes sense. I agree with the challenge of trying to balance the cultural benefits of living in a city with the access to nature!  
1 year ago
Maybe our attraction to certain habitats is related to what we're most familiar with. For me it's the ocean (and more generally water) and mountains. And perhaps when we're not in these environments we seek what is closest to them: lakes or rivers in urban environments that are away from the coastline, and maybe hills with views in cities which is the closest we get to being in the mountains.
1 year ago
Yes, there's many ways to experience the "bathing" aspect of forest bathing. There is definitely a different experience when I've been outdoors especially in the rain. Some of my most memorable times  have been in the mist, cloudy, and even rainy situations. Just observing the way the water hangs on the leaves, the way the water erodes the soil and the way it flows can be quite mesmerizing! I'm especially appreciative of cloudy days outside when i'm taking photographs since the light is spread out so evenly if often is ideal for photos. The first rain of the season also reminds me of the Earth like a dry sponge that just gets drenched in water and bulges with delight!
1 year ago
There's research going on about the vagus nerve and some of the results show that the vagus nerve affects our empathy, sympathy and compassion. Our vagus nerve activates when, for example, we feel empathy and compassion toward someone's situation. So in a way the vagus nerve is a sensor that we all have that connects us to other people. This nerve helps us to calm down and also connect with others!  

There are some great articles on the vagus nerve and many other topics related to empathy, compassion, etc. at UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center website: https://greatergood.berkeley.edu
1 year ago
When I've lived in cities, I've been drawn to public parks. Daily walks and runs in parks would help me get centered and I can still remember the pleasure of a summer breeze while strolling through the trees or a path in a wooded area. Also, focusing and enjoying the flowers would bring me back to the origin of their species. It would make me think about the tremendous diversity and adaptation of nature. I remember making a point of doing the activities that bring me joy and going to the park to do them: reading, walking, biking, and simply observing the world around me.
1 year ago
I feel a calling for the ocean and for the mountains. For most of my life I've lived close to the ocean. And when I lived away from the coast, I felt something was missing-- the breeze, the sound of the ocean waves breaking on the shore, the smells of the ocean, the sun, the seals, seagulls, pelicans, the texture of the wet sand while walking along the shore--- all these memories bring me back to the ocean.
I'm also drawn to the mountains-- more specifically the alpine habitat where there are lakes, beautiful rocks, trees and the sight of higher, often snowcapped peaks. In the wintertime, I'm drawn to the thrill of cross-country skiing in this type of habitat. For me when I think of these habitats they come to life when I remember them with all my senses: the smells, sights, textures, sounds, and even the taste of the wild berries for memory of enjoying a delicious lunch while there.
1 year ago
I agree that being outdoors every day makes a difference to me too. I try and go for a walk outdoors every day ideally over half an hour. And I've noticed how being in the woods vs. a tree lined street makes a difference as well. Studies have shown that spending time outdoors in a more secluded natural area is even more beneficial than say walking outdoors where there may be a busy street and noise nearby. Either way, just getting out and spending time in nature has a calming effect. I'm excited that the science behind the benefits of being in nature is becoming widely available. And the beauty is that it's such a simple thing to do! Our bodies and nature take care of the rest in terms of the health benefits. Perhaps they'll many doctors prescriptions in the near future that will call a thirty minute walk in nature every day for thirty days!
1 year ago
Yes... Not only having plants at home but also having plants in the workplace has been studied and shows the benefits in terms of productivity, relaxation and happiness. Biophilic design focuses on how we integrate the built environment with nature. How do we bring our innate affinity with nature into our buildings? How do we more seamlessly have an indoor/outdoor relationship with nature in our buildings? The interior colors, patterns, natural light, water features and plants all impact our well being. Human centered design is also a focus in architecture where we delve into human behavior and design buildings that support the way that we interact in the workplace.
1 year ago
Yes, I believe that I fall on the empath side of the scale. And I find nature is a great source to recharge and get grounded!
1 year ago