To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow. – Audrey Hepburn
Gardening is a great past time that gets you out in the sunlight and makes you feel good. Whether you’re into creating beautiful flowerbeds or growing delicious food to feed your family, gardening has plenty of benefits. But it’s not just about you and your family. Gardening is a great way to build community and help the earth. These are just some of the ways that gardeners can save the planet!
Gardening Means Eating Well
First and most obvious. Growing your own food means eating healthy, organic produce. With a little research, you can get fresh fruit and vegetables to your family year-round, in season, and pesticide and GMO-free. You’ll always know exactly what went into your food, as opposed to getting it from the produce section of your local supermarket. You were there, after all!
Gardening Is Cheap
Start-up costs for growing a garden may vary. Everything depends on what you’re growing, determining what you need. If you’re just starting out, don’t be afraid to go to your local gardening centers for advice. Check out what the easiest and best plants for your environment are. Putting aside the plants and seeds themselves, look into the equipment you might need. Obviously, gloves, knee pads, and other protective gear are a necessity. You should consider protective fences and awning, too. Even urban environments have their local wildlife, and they know food when they smell it! Using a moisture meter for your soil can help you determine when and how much water your plants need. This is especially helpful if you’ve got a variety of crops with different needs.
When you start, it may feel expensive. But growing your own food can save you about $600 a year, even accounting for the cost of starting your garden! That’s a fantastic saving for food that tastes better and is more natural and hormone-free than what you get at the grocery store.
Gardening Builds Communities
Not everyone has space or even the time, to dedicate to a garden of their own. But community garden initiatives are a great way to get out in the sunshine, grown your food, and help those in need. Many cities across North America have begun urban community garden initiatives and split their yields between the co-op gardeners, and local food banks. If you have a garden of your own, getting involved in local farmers markets or food banks is a great way to get involved in your community.
Gardening Reduces Stress
Gardening can help you live longer! Studies have shown that spending time outdoors can reduce the effects of stress, depression, and insomnia. In our indoor, sedentary world, there’s no denying there’s something satisfying about digging in the dirt for a while. It’s not just nice to be out in fresh air and sunshine. There is also some evidence that it’s good for your brain. The effects of fresh air and exercise on depression are well documented. But new research suggests it can help with memory, cognition, and even serious brain deterioration like dementia. So get out there, and get healthy!
Gardening May Boost Your Immune System
Of course, eating organically grown foods has plenty of health benefits. But even if a vegetable garden is beyond you, or you’d instead stick to flowers, it turns out that gardening can boost your immune system, no matter what your yield.
According to new research among the study of public health, the clean, sterile world, we thought we needed to be healthy may be doing more harm than good. Scientists say that digging in the dirt and getting “friendly” with the local bacteria and organisms can help protect you against future viruses and illnesses. This isn’t an excuse not to wash your hands or scrub the garden off you when you come inside! But it turns out, a little bit of dirt not only never hurt anyone but helps!
Gardening Reduces CO2 Emissions
Gardening isn’t just good for you and your community, of course. It’s also great for lowering your CO2 emissions. Plants produce oxygen and help remove carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses from the air. Increasing the number of plants in and around your home helps purify the air, and add more oxygen into the atmosphere. Better, growing fresh produce also means fewer trips to the grocery store, which lowers CO2 emissions even further. It’s also an excellent way to reduce the overall carbon footprint involved in transporting food to local grocery stores. That means you’re not buying into the system that hurts the environment.
Gardening Helps the Local Ecology
Not only does working with plants add more oxygen and reduce CO2 in the air, but it also adds to the local wildlife. Planting flowers means more bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. That’s good news for the local environment. Install a bird box, and you can cut down on pests that will eat your garden while encouraging pollination back into the natural environment! Gardens can also provide food and protection to local animals and birds from predators.
Gardening Can Reduce Erosion and Result In Cleaner Groundwater
Plants can help to filter chemicals and bacteria from groundwater. The roots of plants can also help hold in soil, and reduce soil erosion. That means a healthier, nutrient-rich environment, with cleaner water for you and your community.
Gardening has plenty of benefits, from lowering your stress level and boosting your immune system. It’s a great way to give back to your community, by buying local, participating in farmers markets, community gardens, and even helping to feed the hungry. Not only that, but it’s great for the environment. Plants produce oxygen and eat away at carbon dioxide in the air, help clean your water supply, and can drastically reduce your CO2 emissions. It’s a great hobby to make you feel great, get you out in the sunshine, and encourages a healthier life for you, your loved ones, and the whole planet!