When taking a trip to your local garden centre or supermarket you can find a great range of vegetable seeds. These rows of vegetables and their many varieties can be a good source of inspiration and can open your eyes to what can be achieved at home.
Growing your own has become a fashionable trend that many have adopted into their daily lives and with that comes numerous benefits not only for your purse, but also for the environment. Having a kitchen garden reduces carbon footprints, can prevent the use of chemicals and offers a greener way of life. Whether you wish to grow herbs on the kitchen windowsill or have a few raised beds in the garden, becoming environmentally conscious couldn’t be easier or more rewarding.
Reducing your carbon footprint
For years we have been encouraged to keep an eye on our fuel consumption – taking up a bicycle instead of driving to work and walking or combining trips to reduce the amount of vehicles on the road. This can be applied to growing your own – by picking up a spade and folk instead of driving to a supermarket you can reduce your carbon footprint.
The food that you see displayed in supermarkets tends to have travelled quite a distance with some having been imported into the country, transported across the UK to our shops and then to our homes. By growing your own fruit and veg you can cut out the middle man, thus reducing carbon emissions and the amount of vehicles on the road.
Organic Vs Chemical
It’s safe to say that organic produce is more beneficial to the environment than that of food grown using herbicides and pesticides, but what you may not know is the damage these chemicals can cause. Here are a few facts:
- Herbicides can affect the habitat of animals
- Chemicals can be toxic to exposed plants and animals
- Can potentially kill insects and spiders which play a vital role in agricultural ecosystems
- The mishandling of pesticides has resulted in agricultural ecosystems as well as wildlife
- Pesticides can pollute water streams (Runoff movement)
Reduces food waste
In the UK alone we throw away an estimated 7.2 million tonnes of food and drink every year, which in turn costs the country £12 billion. This is an astonishing statistic and one that needs to be reduced. By creating a kitchen garden and growing only what you and your family need you can significantly reduce the amount of food that is wasted.
Another way you can help the environment and also help to produce healthy yields is to build a compost bin or heap. This entails recycling green and brown rubbish from your garden and kitchen, which will compost down between nine to 12 months. Once the process has finished it will provide your vegetables with an organic matter that is rich in nutrients.
What can I put into a compost bin?
- Fruit and vegetable peelings
- Grass cuttings
- Tea bags
- Prunings from shrubs
- Toilet roll tubes
- Cereal boxes/cardboard
If you have been toying with the idea of starting a kitchen garden I hope that these environmental benefits have helped you make a decision. There is so much to growing your own and all that is required from you is time and a bit of TLC.