How do you keep in touch with nature using your phone?Anna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
How one keeps in touch with nature using their phone might be a silly question to ask on any normal day of the year, but as many of you may (or may not) know, today isn’t just any normal day - it’s Arbor Day! Technically a holiday, Arbor Day is a day for planting and appreciating trees, and enjoying nature. Enjoying nature doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t use technology to do so, though. There are plenty of ways that mobile tech can help you enjoy nature!
If you’re able to get out of the house or office today, consider taking a nature walk, run, or jog at the nearest park. Not only will this get you a change of scenery, but you can also use this time to get in some daily exercise. Use a pedometer app, like the Runtastic Pedometer or Noom, to track your progress throughout the day. Don’t forget to stop and enjoy nature, though! Use the camera on the back of your phone to snap some unique pictures of nature. Stand out from your friends who Instagram their dinners or yet another flattering selfie - change up the pace a little bit by taking a picture of some leaves or a creek, or something nature-y.
Another interesting Nature-related app is called Project Noah, an application that allows you take photos of local nature and wildlife and upload it. This project calls forth “citizen scientists” from all locations to help out with the project. The app sends you on missions to find wildlife in the area, so it could be a fun and educational game to play with your friends or kids.
Another interesting idea is planting a tree of your own and snapping photos of its growth over the years. Of course, you’ll probably end up switching phones once or ten times during this process, but it’s still a fun and easy way to give back to nature as well as record your progress with your handy dandy smartphone.
The concept of enjoying nature is pretty simple if you can get out of the home or office - you simply go outside. But what about those who can’t so easily go outside and enjoy nature? Fortunately, there are alternatives for the nature lover who can’t make it outside.
There are a few apps on the market that allow you learn about wildlife and plants right from your smartphone, such as the Park Wildlife apps on iOS and the Google Play Store. This app is handy for being able to idenify several trees, plans, flowers, animals, which ones are poisonous or dangerous, and where they come from.
As always, there’s also Google Earth, which is probably one of the most fun applications out there on the market. I mean, you could explore the local parks, but if that’s not an option, why not take it a bit farther and visit the Sahara Desert from the comfort of an air conditioned building with plenty of water at hand? Perhaps you’ve always wanted to visit Australia, but didn’t want to visit the 10 ft spiders and other horrors that reside there (kidding.. sort of). No matter where you want to visit, Google Earth can help you with that!
Worse comes to worse, you could always check out some nature-related accessories for your phone, such as this wooden case for the Galaxy S5. Perhaps you want your phone to actually be made out of wood, like the wooden Moto X. Of course, the more I think about it, I’m not sure if that’s considered appreciating nature or mocking it.
Oh well, I won’t judge you either way.
Readers, do you plan to enjoy nature during Arbor Day? How do you use your smartphone to enjoy nature normally? Let us know in the comments below!