Earth Day is almost here and you may be wondering how to make your own contribution? Volunteer for beach clean-up, join a local Meet-Up.com group to combine efforts, or pick a project at home? Overwhelmed by the options? Just pick a simple one for this year that you know you'll complete.
I chose to create a small vegetable garden for Jellybean, our Bearded Dragon. He only eats the equivalent of a tablespoon or two at a time, so I find that we waste a lot of veggies each week because I can’t buy the exact quantity I need. Picture me at Jimbo's: "Excuse me cashier, can I purchase 2 stems of Dandelion Greens and one leaf of Bok Choy?" Nope, it doesn't work like that.
The garden idea wins in this situation. Decreasing trash and lowering my cost for organic produce (no pesticides for pets) is a no-brainer too! This is also a great activity for teaching children how to be good stewards of our environment.
Here are some reasons why planting a garden can make a difference:
1. Reduces Carbon Footprint
When you plant your own vegetables, you reduce the need for transportation and packaging of store-bought produce. This means that fewer greenhouse gases are emitted in the process, reducing your carbon footprint.
2. Reduces Waste
When you grow your own vegetables, you can harvest only what you need, reducing food waste. This means that fewer resources are used to produce and dispose of excess food, reducing your overall waste output.
3. Improves Soil Health
Vegetable gardens can help improve soil health by adding nutrients and organic matter to the soil. This can help support healthy plant growth and reduce erosion, which can have a positive impact on local ecosystems.
4. Supports Pollinators
Vegetable gardens can provide important habitat and food sources for pollinators, such as bees and butterflies. This can help support local biodiversity and contribute to healthy ecosystems.
5. Promotes Physical and Mental Health
Gardening provides a calming and meditative activity that can help reduce stress and anxiety, it also allows you to connect with nature and get some much-needed fresh air and sunshine. And of course, growing your own fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs can provide a source of nourishment and satisfaction that can promote a sense of accomplishment. Who doesn't want that?
6. Gain a Harvest Allows you to cultivate fruits or vegetables that might not be offered locally. You have control over your selection. It's also rewarding to share your surplus with neighbors or friends.
So why not start a garden of your own and make a positive impact on the environment that lasts all year long?