I prefer to look at playing outdoors and caring about nature as normal, so I'd restate it as "Keeping children indoors too much leads them to harm the environment more as adults."
Anyone can define "normal" for themselves how they want. I find this perspective leads to going outside more and caring more about the environment.
I'm not sure there is a connection, or maybe this speaks only to people who are generally removed from nature and only see it in spurts?
In any event, the more conservationist (within reason) the better --just not sure these results mean much.
If they take a step back and look around they will notice that this human-made "nature" which consumes massive amounts of water, to sustain the defined/controlled (human-made) beauty, and think to themselves "oh nature is perfect, oh how well I am protecting it!".
I don't know many city-dwellers that actually go for a hike on a real mountain to be in/with nature (and not some 5-star-hotel-private-beach or human-made green path).
Mega-cities are the most nature-friendly way of living, because they pack most humans over the smallest possible area. I'd love for everyone to live on their little farm with a nice orchard in the back, but that's just not feasible.
Also, is strikes me as extremely elitist that you complain about people going on man-made green paths or private beach hotels. Is my appreciation of a forest lower because the path has been gravelled by someone, or my appreciation of a sunset over disappearing horizon not as important, because there's a 5 star hotel behind my back? It's just extremely bigoted to say how someone can enjoy something.
Paved/defined paths rule (and keep us safe) and I wish more and more people would go for a hike instead of rotting away in front of a tv watching GoT ;)
Sunset: try Aigiali in Amorgos :)
1. I'm a vegetarian, potentially transitioning to veganism.
2. I don't own a car; I mostly take public transit.
3. I take recycling and composting very seriously.
4. I pay attention to my purchases (e.g. I don't buy nuts like pistachios and almonds due to California's drought).
I could go on, but you get the point.
I realize that I'm probably an outlier, but I would argue that many of us city-dwellers have a head start on "protecting the environment." As a sibling comment said, living in an urban area is more efficient by default, so I'm curious to know what lifestyle choices are made by non-city dwellers en masse that makes you think we are at a disadvantage? A public park might require tons of water to sustain, but so do golf courses, people's front lawns, and plenty of similar things typically found outside of cities. Aside from all of this, one chicken egg requires around 50 gallons of water to produce, so I'm sure that if you calculated the water needed to sustain non-vegan diets, the "cost" of upkeep for parks, golf courses, etc. would be negligible.
Not to mention that having low-density, sprawled-out communities literally inside forests (or deserts, or other biomes) is not good for the ecosystem either.
Living large in the burbs east of the Mississippi causes less environmental damage than even the most ascetic life imaginable west of the Mississippi. More water falls from the skies, for free, without pumping, than we know what to do with... In theory public parks and front yards in the west could be xeriscape-d but in practice they seem to mostly try to emulate golf courses in Florida leading to massive water use in a desert.
A walk in Hyde park gets you closer to "nature" but not really. It is just a brief escape from the concrete & asphalt.
Everyone might be surprised at how similar others are if they stopped trying to find and label differences.
These days, when I walk through the streets of my neighborhood, I don't ever see any kids play outside, even on the sunniest of days.
In parts I see that one of the reason for that may be that a lot of the open space we used to have as kids have been built on since. There was an empty lot to both sides of my parents house in my childhood with trees on them that we used to climb all the time, surrounded by a wire mesh fence that was used as our soccer goal. This space is gone, and I wouldn't even know where kids should even play in my parents' street.
But then, there's also a playground close to my grandparents' house that was always inhabited by children back in the day. It got renovated a couple of years ago and is arguably much nice today than it was, yet I never see anyone there.
Of course, the families that live in that areas had kids at around the same time that my parents did, so it wouldn't be surprising if not a lot of children lived in that area today. Perhaps I will have to wait another generation before younger families move in that area again?
But there are parts of the town where I live that are less old and where I know that young families live there. Still, no kids in the street, as far as I can see.
I don't find this surprising. If you have a closer connection to something, you tend to value it more.
The stream I played in as a kid is now polluted by a feed lot. Cattle are everywhere. Invasive weeds are also everywhere. Native insects are dying off, while their replacements decimate forests, one mountain at a time, heading north. The rivers and streams are full of plastic and algal bloom. Finding a tree that's more than fifty years old is neat. There was a giant fish die-off in the rivers last year. Everyone wants a few acres of their own, but they also want water and sewer, in a nice neighborhood, not too far from town. Subdivisions even trump cattle, the only thing that will beat those out is a natural resource that can be exploited. There are a dozen other environmental issues I could extrapolate on, that are happening just outside my back door, and I live in BFE.
Good times in rural America, nature is really holding up.
This whole city vs. country argument is silly. It's not another species out here; some people care about the environment and some don't, just like anywhere. Will rural populations stay behind the curve on some issues? Of course, but they're still people, like you.