Parents: Get Your Green Hour Survival Guide

The following post was written by Debi Huang, Los-Angeles-based wife, mom, and adventure guide for two young boys. She developed the Green Hour Survival Guide as a series within her blog Go Explore Nature. She is a constant source of inspiration to the staff at NWF!

Debi and her big and little explorer enjoying the outdoors
Debi and her big and little explorer enjoying the outdoors/ Photo by Debi Huang

Before I started blogging, I’d never heard the term “Green Hour.” The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) defines it as time for unstructured play and interaction with the natural world, and the concept is the foundation of NWF’s Be Out There campaign.

You don’t need to convince me that a green hour is a good idea. I know our kids need more time to play outside and connect with nature – and to be able to do so without their parents controlling how it’s done.

But here’s my own little reality check: Not even I can squeeze a green hour into every day.

That’s one reason why last summer, we participated in the 30-Day Outdoor Challenge. The idea was that by getting outside for at least 30 minutes a day for a month, we’d make doing so a habit.

And we did – for a while. But guess what? Summer and its long, lazy, warm days eventually came to an end. They were replaced with fuller school schedules and cooler, grayer days. Before long, I realized we’d become more weekend nature warriors than anything else.

And while I’m glad we still make it a priority to take to the outdoors together on weekends, I’m feeling the serious need for more green time every day.

So we’re at it again: Making time every day to get outside connecting with the natural world. Not for 30 days or 6 months, but for good.

And this time, I’ll be sharing our real-world experiences with you; the challenges and successes, along with tips and ideas to help you get started, too. Think of it as your Green Hour Survival Guide!

  1. Introducing: Your Green Hour Survival Guide
  2. My Favorite Sources of Inspiration for Getting Outside
  3. Book Review & Giveaway: 15 Minutes Outside
  4. Making Time for a Green Hour: Our 30-Day Check-In
  5. A Kid’s Take on Getting His 15 Minutes Outside
  6. Our Backyard Adventure Kit
  7. Finding Time in Your Day for 15 Minutes Outside
  8. Getting Your 15 Minutes Outside in Cold Weather
  9. Solutions to Our Biggest Green Hour Challenges
  10. Your Green Hour Success Stories
  11. Come Take a Peek Inside Our Backyard
  12. 15 Ways to Connect With Nature in the Park
  13. Lessons Learned From My Green Hour Journal
  14. Getting Your Daily Green Hour: No Backyard Required
  15. Share Nature With Your Friends
  16. Is Your Backyard Summer Ready?
  17. 8 Ways to Connect with Nature in the Car
  18. Your A to Z Guide to Summer Backyard Nature Fun

Note from NWF: We’ll update this post as Debi continues her outdoor adventures, so go ahead and bookmark this page! And share your own “Green Hour Survival Tips” for making time for a green hour in the comments here or on Debi’s blog.