Spring is officially here! It’s time to pull out your gardening equipment and prep those planters. Growing your own produce is a great way to obtain natural, fresh fruits and vegetables, while also avoiding the food miles accompanying most grocery store produce. 8% of an average American’s carbon footprint is from food, with more than a quarter of that coming from the transportation of food. An ambitious gardener that replaces 20% of store-bought food with produce from their garden can reduce their carbon footprint by about 68 lbs of CO2 per year!
Another sustainable gardening practice includes planting pollinator-friendly plants, like cornflower, milkweed, and daisies. Pollinators are vital for the creation and maintenance of the habitats many animals rely on for food and shelter, including us! Approximately 35% of the food and fiber grown throughout the world depends on pollinators. By introducing pollinator-friendly plants into your garden, you can create a thriving, diverse environment.
Support the health of pollinators and yourself by cutting out toxic synthetic fertilizers. These fertilizers contribute very little to the ecosystem and structure of your soil, causing more harm than good. There are high levels of nitrates and nitrites in synthetic fertilizer that contaminate surface water through runoff, as well as decrease the fertility of your soil. Opt for organic fertilizers that are more sustainable and enrich your soil. Consider the health of the environment when gardening to create an area that is beneficial for you and the surrounding ecosystem!
By Anna Duffy