In a rapidly warming world, we are all looking for ways to reduce our impact on the planet, and keep ourselves healthy in sustainable ways. But where should we start?
Growing food is a great way to get started in sustainable living. Fruit and vegetables are often grown in far flung places and shipped or flown to our shops. Pesticide and fertilisers are used by the tonne to increase crop yield. Growing food ourselves gives us high quality, organic, fresh food, and plenty of fresh air and exercise as we nurture our crops.
Where can you grow food?
If you don’t have access to a large garden, don’t give up. A small yard covered in concrete can yield green beans, tomatoes and herbs in pots, and potatoes in planters. A sunny windowsill can be a great spot for herbs. If there are others near you looking for a garden, you could join other communities in reclaiming waste ground and creating community gardens. If you decide to start a project like this, make sure the ground is safe to grow food in. If the waste ground was previously used for industrial purposes, you might need to look into contaminated land remediation.
Dealing with contaminated land
Even if the plot you have your eye on turns out to have a high risk of chemical contamination, that’s not the end of the road. There are professional companies who can tell you how to deal with contaminated land, and provide you with costs. Your local council may be only too happy to support you in getting the land decontaminated and back into use, if you have an active community group who will take care of it.
Sustainable living can encompass far more than growing some veg. Other key ways to reduce your impact on the environment include:
– Giving up flying. If you fly often, swapping your foreign travel for holidays in the UK by train can save more carbon than others might create in a lifetime
– Giving up meat and dairy. A plant based lifestyle can make a huge impact on your carbon emissions
– Having fewer children. A smaller family means a smaller carbon footprint
– Cycling instead of driving. Personal transport is a massive contributor to global warming gases
– Buying second hand goods. Frugal and environmentally friendly!