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Nature is the inspiration and also the cautionary tale for living green. So if you want to live more sustainably, get out there soon and often.

Otherwise, you might forget that a piece of land in its natural state is not just a development opportunity, but habitat with ecological, recreational or scenic importance. You might not realize that the best thing to do with it could, conceivably, be nothing.

If you never get to know any indivdual plot of land well, you might not notice if the wildflower population changes or the songbirds begin arriving earlier in the year. Climate change might seem an indistinct and distant possiblity simply because you missed the signs.

Without nature in your life, you will be poorer in spirit and miss transformative experiences.

Read Getting in Touch and In the Bay of Whales to see what I mean by "transformative" and check out Wild Things for a discussion about the wildlife making a comeback in the suburbs—a difficult issue for many. Also see It's Not About the Honey to learn how dependent we can be on other species.

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