Better to love nature

ORANJEWOUD – Portret Tjisse Brookman t.b.v. FCI. © 2017 Foto: Nils van Houts

“Investing in a green environment is an investment for yourself and your health. Man is part of nature. Nature helps man get rid of stress and relax. I want to make people aware of that fact.”

Tjisse Brookman is not some obscure environmentalist. For decades (and until recently) he worked for a Dutch health insurance company as their Relations Manager. “Individually or with partners I looked for added value for our company, our clients, partners and society as a whole. It’s an insurer’s social responsibility to encourage people to go outdoors because it is better for their health and a positive outlook. It’s better to love nature than end up a patient. Being more active and, thus, healthy is good for them as individuals, for society as a whole and for the insurer. Our company wishes to add value to our clients’ policies without being overbearing. In doing so there is a connection between nature and health.”

“A green environment adds to people’s health, vitality and well-being. So it also leads to lower health costs although it is not easy to quantify that in insurance premiums. It will reduce the chance, for instance, of diabetes or chronic obstructive respiratory disease but also conditions related to stress. As an example, walking in nature has a positive influence on combatting burnout.

Why? There are several possible reasons for this phenomenon. Trees give off phytoncides that stimulate the operation of our immune system. And because nature provides us with fractal patterns, it lulls the brain into a restful state thus creating the capacity for renewed creativity and taking on new challenges.

We do not know what nature does exactly or which specific diseases are counteracted by a green environment. But we do know that there are positive effects and some of these are very specific. Take, for instance, the fact that some plants purify the air inside a room and think of the possibilities this creates for hospitals, offices, classrooms and homes. There is already a group of growers adapting their output to this knowledge (see also I think growers should be aware of the possibilities and work together in order to create green concepts with commercial value. And at the same time do what they can to contribute to the better health and well-being of humanity.”

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