Eco-Anxiety?? Grow a garden.
So one of the driving forces behind my unfolding suburban homesteading lifestyle, is healthier living. Healthier for me, healthier for my family, and healthier for the planet. When I first stumbled across the phrase 'eco-anxiety,' I thought "Ah ha! That's it! That's what happening to me."
We are so bombarded with news of impending doom that it is inescapable (as it should be). This needs to be forefront in everyone's mind as we reflect on how our own lives and behaviours impact the world around us. We are so overwhelmed by suggestions on how we need to make changes to avert (or mitigate) disaster for future generations. Now that I have two young children, I understand this more deeply and urgently than ever before. There are so many ways in which we can change our daily actions which can result in positive (albeit small) result However, these small changes are cumulative, and when combined with the multiplier effect, can have a very real and very significant impact on climate change. We need to make these changes NOW. The thought of all the little things that we need to do can be paralyzing which results in no action at all.
As a family, we have generated a list of things that we can do or change to reduce our carbon foot print. We are making a lot of little changes that are driven by the Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Rot, Recycle mantra. It's hard changing ingrained behaviour but we have to do it for the future of our planet. Sometimes a little anxiety is necessary to spur this change.
One of the objectives of our garden is to grow organic and non-GMO produce using organic products and practices alongside Integrated Pest Management. We want our garden to feed us clean and healthy foods while keeping it a safe place for kids, pets, birds, insects, and other wildlife. In addition to our vegetable garden, we have an organically grown wildflower bed that is approximately 200 square feet to attract beneficial insects and local songbirds. One of the most beautiful sounds in my garden is the symphony of honeybees and bumblebees congregating in the wildflowers on a warm, sunny day. Bees are critical to our survival and we want to provide them with a healthy habitat and food source.
Growing your own organic food is not just healthy for you and the garden, it is good for the environment. When you grow your own food, you are reducing carbon emissions and potentially reducing adverse commercial growing impacts. Firstly, when you grow your own fruits and vegetables, you need only walk a few paces to gather your meal. Buying produce (fresh or frozen), can have a number of steps involved in the harvesting, processing, packaging, and transportation process. You are saving on processing/equipment emissions, plastic packaging, and transportation emissions. Secondly, you are also growing your produce in a manner that does not exploit the land. You are not using synthetic fertilizers and industrial strength pesticides. You are not contributing to foreign countries decimating endangered habitats or foregoing locally necessary crops.
Gardening is not just a hobby. Gardening gives back in more ways than might be apparent at first glance. You can make a real impact on this world by rolling up your sleeves and grabbing a packet of seeds.
You can make a difference.
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A zone 8a gardening enthusiast!