Gardening is an important part of life. People who garden tend to be more active than those who do not garden.
Gardeners also tend to eat healthier foods because they grow their own food. Gardening is also a great way to get children interested in nature.
Gardening is an excellent hobby and comes with many benefits for the gardener and for the environment. Gardening helps reduce pollution by reducing the need for pesticides and fertilizers. It also reduces the amount of waste produced by humans.
This article will cover many of the ways that gardening is good for the environment.
Why Gardening is Good For the Environment
Here are the top reasons why gardening is good for the planet.
1. Gardens Clean the Air
When you plant a garden, you create a natural air filter and make an environmental impact quickly. Plants take in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through their leaves and use it as fuel. This process creates oxygen which we breathe.
When plants die, they decompose into the soil and release nutrients back into the ecosystem. These nutrients then become available again to other plants.
Plants absorb toxins from the air and water around them. This helps plants grow well. Planting trees and other plants can help clean up our polluted world.
- Read more about the Best Air Cleaning Plants.
2. Gardening Protects and Replenishes the Soil
Plant roots help bind soil together, protecting the soil from washing away in heavy rains. Extensive root systems keep topsoil from moving around during times when heavy rains occur.
Roots help plants grow by adding nutrients and water. Annual plants die and decompose, and then become nutrients for next year’s plants.
The soil is one of the most important parts of any garden. Without healthy soil, nothing grows, so preventing soil erosion is key.
Soil is made up of organic materials. Organic matter is composed of dead organisms such as bacteria, fungi, insects, animals, and plants. All these things contribute to the health of your soil.
Organic material breaks down over time and releases nutrients back into the soil. If this cycle isn’t maintained, the soil becomes depleted of nutrients.
3. Gardens Protect Local Wildlife and Pollinators
Gardens provide a habitat for local wildlife. Many birds, butterflies, bees, bats, and other pollinating insects live in and near gardens. These animals and creatures appreciate your gardening efforts.
You can plant trees and plants to give them places to feel comfortable and at ease. You can also bring some of those creatures into your home by keeping them as pets.
You can attract pollinating insects to your garden by planting flowers and fruit trees. Many birds visit gardens to feed on nectar and pollen.
4. Gardens Reduce the Size of Landfills
Home gardening doesn’t just benefit the environment; it also benefits us. We don’t have to buy all of our food from stores. Instead, we can grow our own food.
We can also compost our food scraps instead of throwing them in landfills where they end up rotting and releasing methane gas, a harmful greenhouse gas, into the air.
Landfills should be used as little as possible because much of our kitchen scraps and yard waste are natural materials that can be recycled or composted.
5. Gardening Helps Mitigate Global Warming
Global warming occurs when heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide build up in the atmosphere. This causes temperatures to rise, melting ice caps and glaciers, and causing sea levels to rise.
Planting trees, shrubs, and flowers can help reduce the effects of global warming by absorbing carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases.
Trees and other plants use photosynthesis to create oxygen through the process of respiration. Oxygen is released into the atmosphere, which reduces the amount of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere.
Growing your own food reduces your need to travel to the grocery store, and locally grown food is better for the environment than foreign imports.
6. Organic Gardening Reduces Your Carbon Footprint
When you eat food that has been raised organically, you’re less likely to put extra carbon emissions into the atmosphere. You’re also offering yourself the many health benefits of organic, nutritious food.
Organic gardening benefits includes no harmful chemicals being used, less need to travel to get fresh vegetables, and composting to recycle organic materials.
Humans should respect nature because we depend on it. We need to take care of our planet, and stop destroying it.
Creating a compost pile is a wonderful way to improve your soil and reduce the amount of garbage you produce to make the earth cleaner. You can use this compost as fertilizer instead of using chemical fertilizers.
Compost bins or piles should be placed near the house. They need to be easily accessible when needed. Composting requires some work, but it’s worth it! Put a good 50/50 mix of brown and green items into the bin for optimal decomposition.
Use these as a guide for brown vs. green compostable items:
- Brown – Leaves, twigs, paper, eggshells, coffee grounds, etc.
- Green – Fruits, veggies, coffee grounds, tea bags, cardboard, eggshells, etc
Turning the compost every few days also speeds up the decomposition process.
7. Rooftop Gardens Can Reduce “Heat Islands” and Help Cool Our Cities
A heat island is an area of a city that gets hotter during the day due to the concrete and asphalt materials that make up the buildings and roads. These areas tend to be more densely populated, and thus more difficult to cool down.
The EPA calls this the “heat island effect” (source) that raises daytime temperatures in cities 1–7°F higher and nighttime temperatures 2-5°F higher.
Rooftop gardens can help mitigate the heat island effect by providing shade and creating a cooler microclimate. The EPA estimates that a rooftop garden is 30 to 40°F cooler than a rooftop without a garden.
Cities need green roofs to prevent the heat island effect. Green roofs provide shade and cooling, and reduce the temperature inside buildings. Roofs with plants also make the air cleaner.
8. Planting Trees in the Yard Can Save You Money on Your Energy Bill
Planting trees in your yard will not only beautify your property, but it will also save you money on your energy bill. Trees also absorb CO2 from the air, helping to clean the air.
A tree planted in your yard absorbs sunlight, which helps keep your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer. This means lower heating and cooling bills, up to 30% lower.
Trees help cool down homes. Planting them in front of your house and on the sunny side of your home will help you save money on cooling bills.
If you plant fruit trees, you can even enjoy eating your own produce. Fruit trees require little maintenance, and they’re great for attracting birds. You can even start a side business by growing profitable fruit trees and selling them to others.
9. Rain Gardens Keep Pollution Out of Water and Prevent Flooding
Rain gardens are great ways to reduce pollution and protect water quality. A rain garden is a low-maintenance, drought tolerant garden designed to collect stormwater runoff.
Rain gardens can filter pollutants like nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment before they reach nearby waterways.
They can also prevent flooding. Stormwater runoff collects in the rain garden and slowly drains away through perforated pipes. If there is heavy rainfall, the water flows into underground cisterns.
10. Gardens Can Reduce Noise Pollution
Gardens can help reduce noise pollution caused by traffic and construction.
Plants absorb sound waves and convert them into vibrations that we feel as sound. This reduces the amount of noise pollution that reaches our ears.
Vertical gardens have become popular to reduce noise pollution from highways and traffic by absorbing the sounds of cars and trucks. This helps protect your hearing.
How Gardens Help the Environment Final Thoughts
Gardening is one of the most environmentally friendly things you can do. Home gardening has been around since ancient times, and it continues to evolve today in vegetable gardens across the globe.
There are many benefits to growing your own food, including saving time and money, reducing waste, and improving health. There are even some surprising benefits, such as helping to reduce carbon emissions and making your home more comfortable.
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