Every bit counts: It might not seem like it, but every person can make a difference. Each person that actively tries to better the environment will in some small way, and they can also have an impression on those around them. As more people get involved, there might be a bottom-up impact on the food production and distribution system.
Food waste: When food only goes from your garden to your table, there is not much opportunity for it to be wasted. About 40% of food worldwide goes to waste. Community gardening provides a way to avoid that. When you want to eat your vegetables, you just get them from your garden. If you happen to grow too much, you can always donate them to a local charity.
Food miles: Community gardening reduces food miles to virtually zero. Food miles refers to the distance the food you eat travels from the farm to your table. If you grow it yourself, you will save energy and resources for transportation and storage.
Biodiversity: Growing food in community gardens reduces the pressure on food growers from afar. This lowers the rate of land clearing which saves vital ecosystems. The rainforest, for example, has an incredible amount of biodiversity, and saving it from being cleared for crops has a great impact on the environment.
Carbon sink: The term “carbon sink” refers to how plants soak up carbon dioxide. This reduces the impact of climate change on the planet. Each new carbon sink that we create can lead to great things such as cleaner air.
Better water: Proper gardening practices lead to less polluted waters. Using rain bins or recycled water can also have this effect. This leads to higher quality, cleaner water available for drinking and other uses.
Reduced waste: Composting green waste from the garden reduces waste. It also puts all the nutrients from the plants back into the soil.
Cheap vegetables: Some people do not have a problem paying for the recommended fruits and vegetables at supermarkets. However, several low-income families have a hard time paying for these. Having access to inexpensive produce can be very beneficial and good for maintaining food security. It also takes some financial pressure off and can help prevent future possible malnutrition-related diseases.
Fresh food: Some people pay much more for fresh, local food at farmers markets, so they would probably be happy to get the same fresh food at even lower costs.
Your produce: Some people prefer to know when, how, and where their food was made. In community gardens, each person knows the inputs of their produce. This ensures that their food is safely grown.
Excess food: You might like gardening so much that you grow too much for yourself. You could sell the extra food, give it to friends and family, or donate it to a charity nearby. Some grow enough extra food to have a nice second income to support their families.
Leisure: Many people find peace and reconnect with nature and food through gardening. It is a great way to put things back into perspective. Some people really enjoy weeding, watering, planting, and digging in their gardens.
Community: It is in the name, but community gardens consist of several garden plots in one area. This increases interaction among the residents or whoever cares for the garden. People can find friendships easily while participating in a common interest such as gardening.
Recreation: Many people do not think of gardening as a recreational activity, but it can have great wellness impacts. Especially among the older population, gripping the tools, pulling the weeds, and digging the dirt increases mobility and strength.
Health: People who garden often have a better chance of eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. They are often more aware of what they eat and what’s good for their bodies.
Planting, digging, weeding, cutting, mulching, pulling, and watering are the most common gardening tasks. They require a bit of mobility, but almost anyone can garden from children to elderly people.
Find out if there is a community garden near where you live or work. You might find that getting involved once or twice a week is a nice change.
Buy a plot in a community garden nearby. You can grow virtually whatever you choose to.
If there is not one, you could try asking a manager of your residence or workplace. People often do not think of these ideas on their own, so do not be afraid to ask.