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Feel Good Friday: Rainforest Rebuilt

Sebastião Salgado and his wife, Lélia Deluiz Wanick Salgado, moved back to their home country of Brazil in the 1990’s. Sebastião was returning from an assignment to photograph the Rwandan genocide. He was burnt out and needed a comforting space to recover. He thought moving back to the lush rainforest of his childhood would help him recharge. When he moved back he was disappointed to discover that the rainforest he remembered had been deforested. It was at that point Lélia suggested that they replant trees in order to regrow the forest. They decided to go for it and have planted two million trees in the past twenty years. Check out this article to learn more and see the before and after pictures.

I was really inspired by this story because it goes to show that small actions make big differences. Obviously the Salgados have planted an incredible amount trees over the past twenty years, but they had to start by planting one! If you have a big overwhelming goal break it down into smaller pieces. 

Secondly this story illustrates how interdependent we are on nature. Sebastião said:

 “The land was as sick as I was – everything was destroyed, Only about 0.5% of the land was covered in trees. Then my wife had a fabulous idea to replant this forest. And when we began to do that, then all the insects and birds and fish returned and, thanks to this increase of the trees I, too, was reborn – this was the most important moment.”

His experience shows us that nature help us nurture our mental health. 

The idea of Feel Good Fridays started because, we believe the simple things that bring a smile to our face, are some of the best things. Smiling and laughing has been proven to reduce stress in our lives! When we smile or laugh it releases neurotransmitters in our brain called endorphins, which are in charge of making us happy and helping to relieve stress.