Naturism is truly a celebration of the natural human body. It’s a movement that defies the standards of today by freeing itself from the artificiality of clothing and fashion, and helps open our minds to recognizing that the natural human body is wonderful. It’s not shameful, it’s not inherently sexual, and it is highly capable. For this reason, naturism is very compatible with todays emerging interest in a natural and environmentally friendly lifestyle.
Humans have a powerful ability to alter the health of our own bodies, but we also have the power and responsibility to impact the environment around us. With today’s increased awareness of mankind’s influence on the earth, the naturist lifestyle becomes even more timely and appropriate.
Even though it feels like industry, cities, and technology pull us farther away from nature every day, we must remind ourselves that humans are highly integrated with nature whether or not we acknowledge that. In fact when we refuse to acknowledge that, I suspect that is when our impact is the most devastating.
With the human-nature integration in mind, I believe that working for the good of nature and working for the good and the freedom of our bodies are two things that must work together almost as one.
As the Quebec Naturist Federation has so profoundly observed, “Nature is not just the trees; it is also our bodies.”
Naturism and environmentalism often share many parallel goals. Both naturism and environmentalism seek to preserve natural landscapes and are opposed to the development of these areas. Both are also frequently against commercial exploitation, although the targets of these endeavours may vary between the two groups. It is a waste of energy for people to freak out about nudity when the real threat to most beaches is development, not nudity.
I have a challenge for anyone who appreciates nature but has not been nude in nature: try it. It is incredible and nearly indescribable how much more connected to nature you will feel without clothing in the way. Our bodies are incredible sensory machines, and clothing inhibits our bodies from sensing our environment. It cuts us off from the natural world and we don’t even know it until we experience the freedom without clothing. Bare feet on the earth reconnecting you with earth’s energy field. The slight breeze on your skin making you far more in tune with the forest air. A branch against your body as you walk past, and you take a moment to recognize the beauty of that tree that you probably would have walked right past otherwise. Nature has lots to tell us but clothing prevents that message from reaching us as intended. Get out there and experience it.
So what makes a naturist lifestyle more environmentally responsible? Well on a hot day, it may make more sense to go nude rather than turn on that air conditioning. You’ll be amazed at how much better the body can regulate temperature when it is left exposed, and this goes both for hot and cold.
What about the environmentally irresponsible processes in which much of our clothing is made? Does it not make sense to cut down on the amount of clothing we need and wear to have a positive impact on the earth?
Consider some of the environmentally-questionable sources and processes used to create most clothing:
Synthetics are developed from oil;
Cotton is one of the most pesticide- sprayed crops in the world;
Making garments then involves using chlorine bleach, chemical dyes, metallic compounds, resins, and formaldehyde.
At the end of the day, humans have created a clothing-dependancy that forces us to wear clothes when they are not practical (such as swimming, for example). Aside from forcing us to feel shame about our bodies and being afraid to reveal our natural unclothed bodies, there seems to be a huge negative environmental impact from the huge amount of clothing being produced, and the fuel being used to heat and cool our homes that could all be greatly reduced if our bodies were able to regulate temperature more naturally. Even in extreme weather, we may find that we need less heat or less cool once our bodies get used to self-regulating naturally. When I spend long periods of time without clothing, I notice my tolerance for temperatures to be much greater than when I’m used to wearing clothes. The human body is amazing, let it do what it wants to do.
Even on a small scale, more acceptance of nudity could directly impact our development of green spaces. Let’s picture a near-future in which nudity is accepted and not condemned, but not necessarily permitted on city streets. Sort of the ‘no shirt, no shoes, no service’ approach, in that you are free to do that on the beach, but not downtown. With even that much acceptance, you can bet that people would be fighting for more spaces to enjoy the sun on their skin. More dedicated parks and green spaces, more beaches and more water access. This increased acceptance in the human body would have incredible positive effects on depression and overall wellbeing, but to the point of this article it would dramatically increase the demand for natural spaces and we would hear a much greater public outcry when these spaces were threatened.
There are so many ways in which we could save ourselves and our world if we could just drop this unnatural clothing dependancy. Humans would be happier and healthier, and the world would be a little greener and a little cleaner.