Connect In Nature

"Technology and nature are already friends, solar power!"

Every year Planet Ark undertakes research for National Tree Day, with the key objective of inspiring people to spend time in nature. This year's research looks at Australians attitudes towards technology and the role it can play in enhancing time spent in nature.

From the research we found Australians spend just three per cent of their week in nature, yet almost three hours a day on their phones, primarily on social media. In an age where people are spending more time indoors immersed in technology, we explored the possibilities of bringing nature and technology together.

Can technology and nature be friends?

One third of Australians believe technology can have a positive effect on people's time spent in nature and one in four Australians already use apps that encourage time spent in nature.

This year's theme Connect in Nature is not only about connecting with trees. It's also about connecting with other plants and animals, and 'connecting' in the tech sense - in order to understand if technology can help us do this.

Planet Ark's Ambassadors on National Tree Day 2018 research

Report Findings

  • People believe we aren’t spending enough time in nature (75%), and 62% say they want to spend more time in nature.
  • The more time you spend in nature and the more connected you feel to your community, the happier you are.
  • About 1/3 of Australians believe technology can enhance people’s time spent in nature
  • … through making it more easy to appreciate its beauty, learn information, navigate and exercise.
  • Those who think technology has a role to play in nature spend more time in nature and feel more connected to it.
  • For about 1/3 of Australians, technology and nature aren’t mutually exclusive.

Previous Research

Connect In Nature builds upon previous research commissioned by Planet Ark that highlighted the value and importance of contact with nature for our health, wellbeing and development.

2017 - The Learning from Trees - Life Lessons for Future Generations

2016 - Adding Trees - A Prescription for Health, Happiness and Fulfilment

2015 - Needing Trees: The Nature of Happiness

2014 - Valuing Trees: What is Nature Worth?

2013 - Missing Trees: The Inside Story of an Outdoor Nation