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Bringing Nature to You:  Documentaries & more Green Ways to Spend Your COVID-19 Quarantine
Lifestyle

Bringing Nature to You: Documentaries & more Green Ways to Spend Your COVID-19 Quarantine

Although you might be spending most of your time inside, you can still escape and embrace nature.

With people ignoring social distancing measures, trails are closing to visitors and Paris has outdoor physical activity during daytime hours.

These days, even leaving your house can be unsettling. So how can you enjoy the beauty of our natural world? Good news — you can find a lot of nature right from your couch.

Here’s a few ways.

Learn about nature and watersheds from the comfort of your home.

Although the facilities at Riverbend Environmental Education Center may be closed, they’re still educating children (and adults!) through online activities. From audio storybooks to daily drawing videos, Riverbend’s website is a hub for daily activities with the family. The education center can connect you with a scientist via skype, or you can virtually visit a museum without riding the magic school bus.

Discover the origins of your drinking water through WikiWatershed, an online toolkit that offers apps and other resources about watersheds. The toolkit holds interactive resources such as Model My Watershed, where you can explore the watersheds across the country and run model simulations of human impacts on water quality; test scenarios including land cover and human-influenced features.

Connect to other scientists through WikiWatershed’s EnviroDIY, a community of do-it-yourself enthusiasts discussing projects for environmental science and monitoring. The site also includes hands-on science experiments with aquatic insects.

If you want a more in-depth perspective on watersheds, visit the Delaware River Watershed’s interactive map, where you can trace the river’s path throughout the Northeastern region.

Google maps is offering virtual field trips to various national parks, where you can enjoy the natural splendor without traveling to great lengths. Choose between 31 tours, including Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Canyon National Park. Highlights include high-resolution scenic views with a 360-degree perspective.

Explore science and nature through Philly’s museums.

The Science History is producing a Lunchtime Lecture Series, a weekly talk by local scholars. Discussions are focused on current research projects of historians of science and are accessible through an app or the website.

Dive into history with the Independence Seaport Museum’s audio tour on a submarine that used to trail Soviet submarines during Cold War missions. Learn more about the Submarine Becuna via mobile app.

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University contains numerous interactive, hands-on activities such as nature scavenger hunts and DIY butter recipes.

Move over, Tiger King.

Not all documentaries are about exotic animal owners and their crazy antics. Many revolve around nature.

Learn more about Our Planet on Netflix. Narrated by popular BBC broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, the series takes an in-depth look into conservation while showing human’s impact on the environment. The scenic shots of nature take viewers into the effects of climate change on all living creatures.

You don’t have to travel far to see how toxic chemicals are harming the environment. In HBO’s Mann v. Ford, Northern New Jersey sets the stage for a group of Native Americans fighting for a healthier future. Ford Motor Company had been releasing toxic chemicals from one of its factories into the backyards of the Ramapough Indian Tribe for thirty years. Follow the journey of the Native American group filing a major class-action lawsuit against Ford Motor Company and the EPA.

In a world where the mention of grocery shopping takes on new anxieties, Amazon Prime’s Revolution: Food revives enthusiasm about food and the farmers who are implementing new sustainable practices. Reintroduce yourself to food and how your local farmers are taking strides to create a healthier world.

Hulu’s Sea of Shadows seems like a Narcos spin-off about the sea; it explores the endangered species of the Vaquita sharks, as well as the Mexican drug cartels and the Chinese mafia that are operating an illegal market. Follow the scientists, activists, and law enforcement who are the David in this Goliath story, guarding this species and bringing down an international crime organization.

Checked off all the books on your list? We found a few more that will keep your mind busy.

You can find these recommendations through the Bookshop, which donates ten percent of their sales to local bookstores and suggests nearby shops to their customers. Thriftbooks operates as a new and used online bookstore, selling used items at a discounted price. Or you can always check the Free Library of Philadelphia’s digital collection for audio and digital editions.

If you’re looking for a nonfiction option and another way to appreciate your small succulent by the window sill, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants is a must-read. As an indigenous scientist, author Robin Wall Kimmerer focuses on plants through Native American customs and a Western scientific perspective.

A Little Less Throwaway: The Lost Art of Buying for Life is another nonfiction book which explores the concept of “mindful curation,” encouraging people to purchase durable items and reducing waste in landfills.

Escape into the world of Prodigal Summer, where novelist Barbara Kingsolver creates three narratives who operate small farms in the southern Appalachian mountains. Kingsolver writes about the connections between these characters and the nature that surrounds them.

Flip through the short stories from The Shell Collector, which was written by bestselling author Anthony Doerr. The collection of short stories explores the bonds and fascination between humans and sea life.

Play games with the family to see who’s the King of the Quarantine Jungle.

Become a bird enthusiast through Wingspan, attracting the best bird species to your wildlife preserves. Features of the game include hundreds of unique bird cards and a birdfeeder dice tower.

In Bee Lives: We Will Only Know Summer, you can become the queen bee of the hive, ensuring its survival by operating the community and other bees. Your role entails collecting honey and hatching new broods, while other players will be competing with other hives.

Evolution reveals a world where players adapt living creatures to a constantly changing ecosystem, while predators and limited resources appear throughout the game.

These board games can be ordered online.

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Jessica Rogers

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