Gardening with the environment in mind has many benefits for both people and the planet. Eco-friendly gardeners can make a difference even in the smallest of gardens.
1. We can all make a difference
Everyone who participates has the opportunity to make a positive impact on our planet. There are approximately 30 million gardeners in the UK, and we hold amazing potential if we all take a step towards eco-friendly gardening. The total area of all gardens in the UK put together is over half a million hectares!
Even if you don’t have a garden, a windowbox, hanging basket or herb garden will have an impact.
2. The environment affects all of us
A completely paved front garden has no environmental benefits, and can cause harm by increasing the risk of flooding and reducing biodiversity.
Instead, try planting a hedge or tree in your front garden. You’ll benefit from reduced pollution and noise, and see an increase in the amount of wildlife that visit.
3. Fight climate change in your garden
Extreme weather linked to climate change, such as floods and heatwaves, are increasingly likely to affect us. Gardeners have the opportunity to help tackle both the causes and effects of climate change.
Plants such as ivy will help to keep your house cooler in summer and warmer in winter, while trees and hedges also reduce flood risks. All plants capture carbon from the air and produce oxygen, and healthy soil can also lock in a lot of carbon, helping to keep it out of the atmosphere.
4. Eco gardening = easy gardening
Environmentally friendly gardening is based on the idea of working with nature rather than working against it. Spending a bit of time selecting the right plant for the right place and for the right purpose will save you lots of time and effort in the long run, helping you to create a thriving garden.
Reducing or eliminating your use of garden chemicals will have a positive impact on both human and animal health, and will save you money.
Having a more relaxed approach to gardening will give you less work to do. Nature is incredibly powerful at regenerating itself, and simply letting your lawn grow long can bring in a whole host of wildlife and wildflowers, too.
5. Preventing mass extinction
There are many indications that we are heading for a global ‘Sixth Mass Extinction’. More than a million species are in danger of being wiped out entirely. In particular, the bugs and microorganisms that larger species feed on and need to survive are crucial to preventing this.
It is a very real possibility that we could be the last generation to see house sparrows, bees and hedgehogs in our gardens.
6. Replenishing the bee population
Around 30% of the food we consume relies directly on insect pollination. If we wipe out the pollinators, we’ll have no more strawberries, apples, almonds, or raspberries (and the list goes on).
We need healthy, resilient, natural ecosystems to help support a healthy, resilient food system.
Learning about key natural cycles, like those of carbon and water, and how ecosystems work is a great step on the way to becoming an eco-friendly gardener.
7. What’s good for the environment is good for us
Plants not only help vital wildlife such as pollinating insects and help to prevent flooding, but they also improve our mood and wellbeing. Multiple studies have shown that exposure to greenery comes with a range of mental and physical health benefits.
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