Greenery and gardening have an impact on greenhouse gas levels in a number of ways. Vegetation takes carbon out of the atmosphere and stores it. Planting shades homes, other buildings and surrounding areas, thus lowering inside and outside temperatures and reducing the need for mechanical cooling. Composting prevents the generation of methane in landfill, and replaces carbon-generating fertilisers. Gardens provide local, unprocessed food and thus reduce emissions from food processing, packaging, storage and transport. Low water use gardens save water and thus carbon emissions. Gardens and gardening make people more aware of nature, including the climate.
As well as carbon reducing benefits, gardening and plants are the source of many other benefits. Research shows that gardens and greenery can have a profound effect on our health and wellbeing. For example, hospital patients with green views tend to get better more quickly, and workers are more productive. In green areas crime is less frequent, pedestrians record a spike in their happiness level, and people are even more trusting and helpful towards each other. On top of this, the act of gardening can be a source of great satisfaction and excellent exercise.
We generally think of people gardening in their own yard, and it’s good if you can do this, but it’s not the only option. You can grow things in pots, planter boxes or other containers on a patio, wall, roof, fence or indoors. You can join a community garden. Or you can come to an arrangement with someone you know who has the space but can’t or doesn’t want to garden – sharing the produce from your gardening, for instance.
There are many very accessible sources of information about gardens and gardening of all sorts, but a few sources are as follows: