The 21st century has brought many new challenges with it, but perhaps the most pressing dilemma that’s currently facing the human race is the rate of climate change taking place on our planet.
With the seemingly never-ending amount of grim predictions and dire warnings flooding across the world’s media, it’s normal to feel a sense of panic and powerlessness.
Thankfully there is an action that we can take, which, if done across the world, can have a positive impact on the planet’s ecosystem.
One of them is sustainable gardening. With its focus on creating healthy organic food, utilising green space effectively, and promoting a positive frame of mind, its popularity is spreading as we enter the 2020s.
All you need is a few square metres of space in your own back yard, allotment with good types of soil, to play your part in forming a healthier planet.
In this article, we’re going to explore the benefits of undertaking this hobby.
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It Saves You Money
One of the biggest myths in sustainable gardening is that it’s expensive. While it’s true that a short-term outlay is possibly needed to create a green space to start with, the long-term savings will pay for this hundreds of times over.
This train of thought underpins the whole sustainable gardening philosophy, in which a popular mantra exists: ‘feed the soil, not the plant’. The idea goes that if we spend a little money and time on creating a fertile patch of soil, we’ll then reap the rewards of a full, nutrient-rich bunch of vegetables and plants. This means less money is wasted on replacing damaged products in the long run.
A popular technique is making compost, where food waste, grass and leaves are converted into nutrient-rich soil from which to grow your food. Here, you have the double whammy of reusing waste, thus reducing landfill, AND growing beautiful produce.
Saved water and energy is also another huge factor. Organic gardening is focused on the minimal use of both, as opposed to the traditional farming methods that are much more wasteful.
It’s a classic case of speculating to accumulate. Find that initial lump of money to see your savings mount up in the future.
It helps clear your mind
Taking up gardening as a pastime has been shown to provide therapeutic benefits for people from all walks of life.
These benefits are numerous and varied and can be summed up with a form of treatment called Gardening Therapy. The therapy is rooted in the age-old belief that simply doing something constructive in a social setting can have a powerful positive effect on self-esteem, depression, or addictions, such as alcohol abuse or problem gambling.
It’s all common sense, of course, but it’s something that a lot of people overlook. As humans, we need a sense of purpose, even if it’s just setting aside a small patch in which to grow vegetables. The sense of achievement we feel when we successfully nurture these plants is also a powerful natural stimulant and a huge antidote to stress and dependency.
We should also take into account the practical benefits of such a hobby. Having the know-how to cultivate organic produce is becoming an increasingly important skill in a world where alternatives are needed to the mass-produced stock that appears in our supermarkets. You never know, it could lead to future work opportunities.
It reduces pesticides and improves your health
We all know the dangers of pesticides. While they are effective against pests that harm our crops, they don’t just disappear after being sprayed. Studies show that pesticide chemicals drift around in our atmosphere for a long while after use, affecting our environment and health.
They’re even counter-productive if misused. If they don’t hit their target they’ll simply sink into the soil and waterways, resulting in reduced pest controls and more contamination.
This is where sustainable gardening comes in to save the day. Stronger plants created from nutrient-rich soil are less likely to be hit by disease, and even if they are there’s a caring human on hand to combat it, rather than a stressed-out farmer.
The result? Cleaner produce entering your body, which simply wasn’t designed to cope with the ingestion of chemicals in the first place. Oh, and a cleaner environment, too. Everyone’s a winner.
It will help future generations
We’ve mentioned the educational, environmental and therapeutic benefits of sustainable gardening, not to mention how it can save you money and energy.
Now imagine passing all these onto your kids, and then your grandkids. This self-sufficiency is becoming increasingly important with the prospect of a changing climate affecting worldwide food production. In western society, we take food for granted but we should be aware that things could change over the coming decades.
Making future generations aware that there are alternative remedies for stress and anxiety, apart from prescription pills, is also important. Maybe this form of therapy will become mainstream in the future, helping society as a whole.
It might be one of the best gifts we leave our children.
It’s easy to think of gardening and get images of dirty hands, sweating faces, and aching backs. Sustainable gardening has shown that it doesn’t have to be like that: in fact, it can be quite enjoyable. Even just half an hour a week has shown positive health effects among participants, not to mention the money savings that come with it.
Give it a go! It could be the best thing you do for both yourself and the environment.