2 March 2024

Ecophilia is the ability to be in harmony with nature and to value it as part of our life. This virtue helps us feel happier, healthier and more aware of our surroundings.

If you have ever felt attracted by ecology and nature, you like to spend time outdoors or in your garden, observe the shape of a leaf on plants, appreciate animals or take care of the environment, maybe you are an ecophilic person and you don’t know it. Here We tell you what ecophilia is, and its connection between nature and human beings.

Where are you from?

The term ecophilia or biophiliawas first coined by the American psychologist Erich Fromm in 1973. Fromm defined it as ‘the passion for everything that grows and is alive, for everything that can be understood as a phenomenon that arises spontaneously from life’.

Fromm contrasted ecophilia with necrophilia, which would be the love for the dead, the mechanical and the artificial.

The psychologist considered that ecophilia was a biophilic orientationthat is, an innate tendency of the human being to look for life and what favors their development. He believed that biophilia was an expression of our human nature and that it manifested itself in different forms of love: towards oneself, towards others, towards creative work and towards nature.

The author also thought that biophilia was threatened by the social and cultural conditions of modern society, which fostered necrophilous attitudes such as consumerism, authoritarianism, or violence. Therefore, he proposed a radical transformation of society based on biophilic values such as freedom, solidarity and responsibility.

benefits of ecophilia

The mere fact of being with nature provides human beings with a source of inexhaustible benefits. Therefore, ecophilia has multiple benefits for people’s physical, mental and emotional health. Here we will name just a few of them.

  • Reduces stress and anxiety: being in contact with nature helps us relax, breathe better and release endorphins, the well-being hormones. Nature also offers us positive stimuli for our senses, such as colors, sounds or aromas.
  • Improves mood: nature makes us feel happier, more optimistic and more satisfied with our lives. It also increases our self-esteem and allows us to express our emotions and enjoy the present.
  • Stimulates creativity: Understanding nature through ecophilia inspires us, awakens our curiosity and invites us to explore new possibilities. Nature also develops learning and teaches us valuable lessons about the cycle of life, diversity or ecological balance.
  • Strengthens the immune system: The practice of ecophilia helps us to enjoy fresh air and sunlight. It allows us to be in contact with beneficial microorganisms for our body, avoiding diseases. By exercising in nature, our circulation, breathing and stamina improve.
  • Promotes social relationships: facilitates contact with other people through empathy. Nature also makes us more supportive and compassionate by being aware of the needs and feelings of other living things.

Why is the connection with nature important?

The connection with nature is important because it allows us to recognize our essence as living beings and our belonging to a larger system that sustains us and transcends us. Connecting with this magic helps us understand that we are part of it. In addition, it confirms that we depend on its existence for our survival and well-being.

It is also important to connect with nature because we learn to assume our responsibility as agents of change and care for the environment. This connection motivates us to protect natural resources, reduce our ecological impact and promote sustainable development.

It is a source of meaning, joy and hope for the lives of all living beings.

How is ecophilia related to psychology and human well-being?

From different theoretical and practical perspectives, there is an intense connection between ecophilia with the area of ​​psychology and the well-being of the human being. Some of these perspectives are:

What is the theory of ecophilia and who developed it?

The theory of ecophilia comes from the term biophilia, which was developed by the American biologist Edward O. Wilson in 1984. This happened 10 years later, after Fromm defined this word for the first time as ‘the love of life, seen from a psychological and survival perspective‘.

Wilson defined ecophilia as ‘the innate affinity of the human being for other forms of life’.

Wilson argued that biophilia was an evolutionary trait that had been selected over millions of years of adaptation to the natural environment. He maintained that it was a universal tendency that manifested itself from childhood and that it expressed itself in different forms of interest, attraction or love for nature.

Wilson also affirmed that this concept was a basic need of the human being, which influenced their cognitive, emotional and moral development.

The biologist proposed that ecophilia could explain the origin of some human behaviors such as art, religion or ethics. He also warned about the risks of losing contact with nature due to urbanization, technology or consumerism. For this reason, he advocated for a reconciliation between the human being and nature, based on scientific knowledge and ethical respect.

Ecophilia in other contexts

Ecophilia not only applies to the individual sphere, but also to the social and collective. Therefore, this concept can be expressed in different social, cultural or political contexts.

Ecophilia Public Limited Company

Ecophilia is an Andalusian company dedicated to the control of vegetation in infrastructures, mountains, parks and gardens, as well as other works related to environmental services. Ecofilia was founded in 2014 and is based in Fuente Vaqueros, Granada.

The company offers innovative and sustainable solutionssuch as:

  • Maintenance of roads and highways.
  • Forest repopulation.
  • Slope stabilization.
  • Hydrological and forest correction.
  • Silvicultural treatments.
  • Maintenance of green areas.

In addition, it has a complete, qualified human team and specialized machinery to carry out its projects with quality and safety.

The company Ecofilia’s mission is to contribute to the environmental care and rural development, through the application of techniques that are respectful of nature and the generation of local employment. This ecological company’s vision is to be a benchmark company in the civil and environmental engineering sector, both nationally and internationally.

Examples of ecophilia

Both in ecotourism and ecodesign and other related areas, ecophilia has a high participation. Some examples are:

  • Ecotourism: It is a form of tourism that seeks to minimize the environmental and social impact of tourism activities. At the same time, it promotes people’s knowledge, enjoyment and conservation of natural ecosystems.
  • ecodesign: seeks to integrate environmental criteria throughout the life cycle of a product or service for its trade, from its conception to its final disposal. This helps to reduce the consumption of energy, materials and waste.
  • deep ecology: is a philosophical and ethical current that proposes a holistic and integrating vision of reality. Under this perspective, all living beings have an intrinsic and equal value, regardless of their usefulness to humans.
  • environmentalism: It is a social and political movement that defends the rights and interests of nature against the threats derived from the dominant economic model. Some of these are: climate change, loss of biodiversity and pollution.
  • Environmental educationIt is an educational process that seeks to develop attitudes, values ​​and skills. The goal is to understand, appreciate, and take care of the environmentas well as to actively participate in its improvement and protection.

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