Managing nature with green in mind

Thinking in terms of being eco friendly has always been about efficiency and mutual benefits. Using this in your garden, then, can be good for you in multiple ways and can be a way to help the planet itself.

For example, consider rain gardens. Art Haddaway writes:

“Rain gardens are built in strategic locations where stormwater regularly flows, such as near a rooftop downspout, and are landscaped with scenic native plants and vegetation. During a storm, the gardens capture and redirect the first flush of rainwater runoff to be either percolated to recharge underground aquifers or filtered to feed the shrubbery on the surface. Not only do these conservational turfs help reduce the pollution of local waterbodies from these discharges, each rain garden also makes a small contribution toward minimizing the risks of flooding, improving overall public health and enriching the beauty of local communities.”

Managing this in an urban environment also matters. Consider rain that falls in cities – unlike falling on dirt, the water can’t be absorbed or go anywhere. So what happens? The American EPA outlines the solution of green infrastructure to help solve these problems.

“At the scale of a city or county, green infrastructure refers to the patchwork of natural areas that provides habitat, flood protection, cleaner air, and cleaner water. At the scale of a neighborhood or site, green infrastructure refers to stormwater management systems that mimic nature by soaking up and storing water.”

This means by using concerns for the environment, we benefit ourselves by getting rid of water in efficient ways. Our gardens themselves benefit from using proper materials, such as the right treated poles, design that utilises rain collection instead of encouraging waste, and our active involvement in making sure it thrives.

Indeed, gardening itself is beneficial to the environment. Growing food at home reduces travelling and therefore impact of gas on the environment; more trees and planets produce oxygen that help the planet; and so on.

Further, there are direct health benefits. Studies show numerous benefits, particularly related to stress reduction that can come from gardening – since it helps you perform a task with a good outcome with little consequences if you “fail”. Also, there is the physical exercise.

“Gardening gets you out in the fresh air and sunshine — and it also gets your blood moving.

“‘There are lots of different movements in gardening, so you get some exercise benefits out of it as well,’ says William Maynard, the community garden program coordinator for the City of Sacramento’s Department of Parks and Recreation.

“Gardening is hardly pumping iron, and unless you’re hauling wheelbarrows of dirt long distances every day, it probably won’t do much for your cardiovascular fitness.

“But digging, planting, weeding, and other repetitive tasks that require strength or stretching are excellent forms of low-impact exercise, especially for people who find more vigorous exercise a challenge, such as those who are older, have disabilities, or suffer from chronic pain.”

This highlights that caring about the environment benefits us directly and the environment itself sometimes indirectly.

 (Image credit: Wikipedia)