Gardening is Good for Your Health and the Environment

Protecting the environment is one of the most important things we do in our lives. For those of us who garden we have a chance to make a big impact on the environment; in a positive or negative way. The methods and procedures we use directly impact our family, the community, and the planet. The idea is to leave as small of a footprint as possible while giving back to the planet.  Gardening is good for our health and the environment in the following ways:

 

Global Warming

Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, which means that it helps trap heat from the sun in the Earth. This is a good thing, since Earth would be very cold if there were no greenhouse gases.  Global warming is caused by too many greenhouse gases, which makes it too difficult for the Earth to naturally cool. Plants help prevent global warming because they take carbon dioxide out of the air to make energy for themselves.

Oxygen Production

Trees and plants don’t breathe oxygen as we do. Just the opposite of humans and animals, plants take in carbon dioxide and they put out oxygen. So plants are good for people and animals because they make the oxygen that we need to breathe.

 

Reduce Transport Needs

Eating home grown foods is good for the environment because fewer trucks on the roads transporting fruits and vegetables to the grocery store saves energy and fossil fuels.

 

Free Exercise

Think of your garden as the gym, but without the membership fee, and awkward machines–and enormous carbon footprint.

 

Nutritional Punch

An organic mix of multiple sources of antioxidants, micronutrients, bioflavanoids and phytochemicals are beneficial to our health. By growing your own organic foods you can obtain an abundance of the essential nutrients from fruits & vegetables grown in your organic backyard garden.

 

garden

Growing your own flowers, vegetables, and herbs, in the most environmentally sound way, cuts down the need for bad practices to provide us with those products which are fresher, healthier for us and impact the environment in the least negative way. The whole idea of any yard or garden is to make it useful in such a way that the environment is impacted the least or even made better.

 

  • Cope with plant pests and disease without spraying poisons on everything in the garden. Like people, healthy plants are more resistant to pests and disease than unhealthy ones, so keep your plants healthy by adding soil amendments and nutrients. Remove plants damaged by pests and burn them before they can contaminate others.  Consider using native plants and be sure that plants are watered appropriately.
  • Avoid using herbicides by keeping weeds under control. There are two ways to do this: By uprooting them by hand or with a hoe as they emerge or before they have a chance to spread, and by growing ground-hugging plants that discourage the growth of weeds.  Weeding is a great way to relieve stress, plus the process allows you to get up close and personal with plants to access their needs.

 

When your green thumbs are ready to take the next step, consider the following gardening practices to really rev up your environmental stewardship:

 

Learn more about Stacy Walters, RKT at www.fittogarden.com

 

More articles by Stacy

 

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