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Economic Outlook Sparks Business Enthusiasm for Nature

Have we lost our connection to nature? Is that relevant in a world that is not more urban than rural?

The urban child has a very different upbringing than the child who finds adventure and joy and pleasure and danger and challenges in the wilds of a backayrd ditch or nearby grove of trees.

We always puzzle about economics and "good". We often find ourselves thinking that the good things in life are to be done because of intrinsic rewards -- not money. But we need to rethink that approach. Wouldn't you rather pay someone for doing something good for people and the planet rather than for doing something that harms people and the planet? Frankly, I'd rather pay them MORE!

Now things can certainly run amuck. High end equipment that isn't really necessary doesn't necessarily get a clean pass for "doing good". But maybe basic equipment for kids and families should be considered for its intrinsic value as well as its economic impact. That's the kind of enlightened, sustainable marketing strategy we can adjust when we look at long term sustainability and the immediate need for health and well being of our children. Today. At home. In their backyards. There's opportunity here...for a revolution in thinking...

The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), which represents hundreds of companies selling everything from backpacks to kayaks, reports good sales of upscale products — but sales of traditional entry-level gear are nearly dead in the water.

Discouraged by the trend, some companies have dropped their entry-level product lines. The rapid increase in child inactivity and obesity has “sent a big message to the industry that we need to do something to reverse this trend," according to Michelle Barnes, OIA’s vice president for marketing.

This sense of economic self-interest extends well beyond the Outdoor Industry Association.

The Outdoor Industry Association represents business interests...

Children & Nature Network advocates for the health and well being of children connecting with nature.