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Nature's Transformative Impact on Larissa May

Larissa May is a digital wellness advocate and founder of #HalfTheStory, a pioneering nonprofit dedicated to promoting healthy relationships with social media. #HalfTheStory focuses on education, advocacy, and mitigating social media-related harms. Larissa's own struggles with social media inspired her to create the organisation. She is recognised globally for her leadership in digital wellness, leading youth-centric policy and advocacy efforts worldwide. In our latest Hour in Nature, find out what makes Larissa fully in awe—and perhaps even uncomfortably—aware of the power of nature.

What’s your favourite thing to do in nature?

Hike with my Pugs! 

Describe your connection to nature: what positives does it bring to your life? 

Disconnecting from tech and reconnecting with nature revitalises me, breathing life into my spirit. After years immersed in the hustle of New York City, I've discovered a profound affection for nature. It serves as my sanctuary of tranquility and fills my cup :) 

What are your fondest memories of spending time in nature?  

My first trip to California with my husband, taking the 1 up the coast in a jeep, remains etched in my memory. The sheer magnificence—from the vast expanse of the ocean to the majestic trees—left me awe-inspired. It was wonder, and we personified. 

Many of us are time-poor and might not get out into nature as much as we’d like. Any suggestions for a quick nature-based pick-me-up? Something sensory, experiential…?

Look to the sky and count to five. Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed, I put down my tech, look outside, and stare at the sky. It’s a good reminder that we’re all little specs of dust on the planet and puts a lot into perspective. 
Is there a ritual or custom you have to bring nature into your home?
Lucky for me I live in a nest. I am hugged by nature daily. 

What is your favourite natural scent, and why?

My favourite scent is eucalyptus because of the trees that surround my house. Sometimes, I even bring leaves into the shower.

Is there an animal or plant that you’ve always felt particularly drawn to, and can you explain why?  

I have always been drawn to elephants and pugs. There's something about their gentle demeanor and expressive eyes that captivates me. Elephants, with their majestic presence and deep familial bonds, symbolise strength, wisdom, and empathy. Pugs, on the other hand, with their playful antics and unwavering loyalty, exude warmth and affection. They are like little magical mushrooms!

Can you describe an experience when you’ve been made to feel fully in awe—and perhaps even uncomfortably—aware of the power of nature?

In Kauai, amidst the vastness of the ocean on an isolated island, whenever I feel small, I am utterly in awe. Every morning, I would wake up, dive into the ocean, snorkel with the fish, and discover creatures along the shoreline.

Is there a sound in nature that you believe everyone should hear at least once in their lifetime?

Pure silence is something everyone should experience in nature, where all you hear is the wind.

Koala Eco Journal


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