We know instinctively that a connection to nature is beneficial to our health. But with increasing urbanization and the hectic pace of modern day life our connection to nature slips, or is lost.

What we know instinctively is backed up by research. Research into the health and wellbeing of residents living in high-rise housing shows that a connection to nature (i.e. parks and gardens) has a positive impact.

So it is important to connect with nature, to get away from the stressful pace of city life. We can try to do this in parks, but we still breathe in exhaust fumes and sometimes also industrial waste. Even in city parks we cannot get away from the noise of the internal combustion engine, the sound permeates through every space of every city.

When we become parents our disconnection with nature is made more apparent to us. I know that when I had my child my entire world focus shifted, and the wellbeing of my baby was paramount. We know that our babies need peace and tranquility, they need our love and gentle care. This is very difficult within cities with their noise and air pollution and lack of open natural spaces. There is some research done which indicates that exposure to natural sound, specifically rain, reduces the time it takes for small children to fall asleep. This research backs up what we instinctively know, that nature is best for our children and babies, because if it is the sounds of nature which help them fall asleep then it is the sounds of nature which are helping them relax.

When we become parents the amount of advertising our children are bombarded with is sometimes also highlighted. We are thrown into a world of bright primary colors and products demanding we buy them. But our babies don't need more stuff, this will not make them happy or more contented. They need us, our time and nature.

With the recent explosion of digital hand held devices and lower prices for digital flat screen TV's and computers, there is the possibility to use digital media for another purpose, to reconnect with nature. What if we could replace children's programming with video of uninterrupted pure nature? What if we could use our iPad on the train in the morning to meditate to a nature scene? It's too early to see if research will back up this idea, but we think that using digital technology to reconnect with nature will improve our health and wellbeing.

We know that viewing HD video of nature scenes, with natural sound, is not the same as being in nature. However, it is possible that it may still have beneficial effects.

We can use our screens to turn them into windows to nature. This may help us fall asleep if we suffer from insomnia, it may help us relax, we may use it to meditate to, or we may just use it as background in our homes.

We think that if digital HD video of nature is to be beneficial it must have as few man made structures within the picture as possible, and it must have zero sound of man made machinery. The soundtrack should include natural sound only and it should not be overly edited. To connect with nature the soundtrack should not sound like it could be in a Hollywood movie, it needs to sound exactly like nature intended without artificial sound effects. It needs to invoke a feeling of really "being there".

We think that this idea of using the explosion of digital screen technology to reconnect increasingly urbanized populations to nature is slightly subversive. And that makes us very happy. Be Irie.

Author's Bio: 

IBeIrie provides high definition digital video of pure nature scenes. We are lucky enough to be living in New Zealand. With a low population density and plenty of natural spaces our opportunities for recording nature in it's unchanged state are many. We have taken our camera in tow and are currently recording as much pure nature as we can, and bringing it to you via our site www.ibeirie.com.