By Michael Nolan
In recent years we have been hearing more and more about how our individual carbon footprint has an effect on the world in which we live.
Nearly every aspect of our lives affect our carbon footprint, but we as urban gardeners have the ability to reduce our own footprint and help to beautiful our surroundings and clean the air we breathe at the same time.
Not only is growing your own urban garden enjoyable, thrifty and healthy, it reduces your impact on the environment substantially.
1. Urban Gardens Reduce Fuel Costs
The more we grow, the less we rely on food that has to be brought in from who knows where. California produce fills our supermarkets in Alabama, but no mention is ever made of how many gallons of diesel fuel it took to get it here.
Additionally, more food grown in your urban garden at home means fewer trips to the store, and that saves you money at the gas pump.
2. Urban Gardens Reduce CO2 Emissions
Everybody knows that plants eat carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. The more plants you have, the more CO2 they can devour, and that results in cleaner air not just for you and your family, but for the people who live around you.
3. Urban Gardens Foster Togetherness
Gardens are one of the best conversation starters I’ve ever known. My own urban gardening over the years has yielded almost as many friendships as produce. It is also an excellent teaching tool for kids, and one that can give you some all important bonding time with them that doesn’t involve video games or television.
American Public Radio put together this great interactive online quiz that helps you to judge your global impact by taking a look at how you live your life. It can be an eye-opener! In this particular quiz, your sustainability is based on 4.5 acres per person.
If your lifestyle requires more than that, your results will tell you how many earths it would take to sustain a world full of people living the way you do.
I’m not telling my results. I’m too ashamed.