In honor of Earth Day, which has just begun for you Aussie folks, and which is tomorrow for those of us in the US:
Gardening For Our Earth- Not Against it
Your garden can be your place to start small in making an environmental difference. (Starting gardening on a small-scale in your garden is a whole other story). When the world seems too big to ‘save’, when we throw our hands in the air and say ‘how can one little me make a difference?”, sometimes the best place to start is simply in your own backyard. A garden is a manageable slice of the world to make a difference in.
I am not dismissing the many other vital large-scale environmental causes. We can, and should, contribute to these things- that is one of the things that Earth Day is all about. What I am saying is sometimes it helps to start right here in our own backyards.
- It helps us see that we can affect change- When I began to compost, I very quickly saw the beginnings of a closed system style of gardening. It felt so good to make all of my food waste, paper products and garden waste work for me. Each time I added this “trash” to the compost pile I imagined the dump that they might otherwise be rotting underground in. I began to understand that ‘little me’ could do things to affect change.
- It can create a micro-ecosystem- where wildlife and domestic life can co-exist. That same compost supports a budding ecosystem of microorganisms, worms, fungi and creepy crawlies. If you are purposeful, you can also use garden waste to create mini habitats for various animals. Check this article out for inspiration and direction.
- We become more in tune with our consumption- Pushing the whole climate change debate aside, we are still massive consumers of a huge amount of crap. Reducing consumption, reusing and repurposing, growing our own food- all of these things are what gardening should be all about. Gardening in a responsible way allows us to reduce the amount of crap we consume. That is certainly my hope and goal.
- We can begin to appreciate this beautiful earth- Once you’ve seen your arugula seeds turn into super ninja plants you can’t help but marvel at the incredible design of creation.
What can you do?
- I’ve endeavored to use only organic products in my garden
- I’m weeding by hand instead of using herbicides
- Compost, compost, compost! Did I mention I love compost?
- I’ve started to grow my own vegetables- the more I eat from my own garden, the better for the Earth
- I’ve stopped killing every critter I see!
You, my fellow gardener, can do one of these things, all of these things, or your own thing. When things feel too big and too complicated for you to make an environmental difference, just step outside. Add some compost to your plants, pick some berries, feed some birds, let some wildflowers bloom. Allow your garden to inspire you. And then, when you’ve done all that- if you feel the call, you can move on to the bigger things.
Here is how you can take action, in big ways and little ways, this Earth Day.