Since I’ve owned my own home (and therefore had my own outdoor space), I have loved growing my own fruit and vegetables. What started as a hobby became a bit of an obsession last year during lockdown, but I’ve learnt so much and I love being able to grow my own food! Not only does homegrown produce taste better and stay fresher, growing your own veggies is also great exercise and it’s brilliant for your wellbeing. Oh, and did I mention that it’s great for the planet too? Here are five reasons why growing your own veg is an eco-friendly option for you to try.
1. It has a smaller carbon footprint
- Veg grown in your garden travels a matter of meters to reach your kitchen, compared to an average of 1,500 miles for produce found in the supermarket.
- Even if you need to drive to your allotment to bring your fruit and veg home, the carbon footprint of your produce is minimal in comparison!
- Locally grown fruit and veg is always a better option than those shipped from overseas
2. It’s free from harmful chemicals
- At home it’s your choice whether to use pesticides or fertilisers on your fruit and veg.
- Many commercial farms rely on fertilisers and pesticides to encourage plant growth to keep up with consumer demand.
- These chemicals can find their way into crops and we ingest them, which is worrying as studies have shown they can cause cancer.
- Such chemicals also have a negative impact on the natural area and are harmful to pollinators such as bees.
3. There’s no plastic packaging
- In fact, there’s no packaging whatsoever!
- Most fruit and veg that is imported is packaged in plastic as it’s lightweight, cheap and keeps produce fresh.
- However, although these plastics are technically recyclable, they are rarely recycled in the UK, instead shipped overseas or incinerated.
- Growing your own veg means no unnecessary plastic packaging.
4. You avoid food waste
- The UK is responsible for 4.5 million tonnes of food waste each year, worth £14bn!
- Growing your own fruit and veg means caring for your seedlings as they grow into established plants and produce fruit.
- Since you watch the process from start to finish, you won’t want to waste your efforts gardening on food that will be simply throw away!
- Instead, you’ll learn to use your produce wisely, learn new recipes and freeze/preserve what you don’t eat so that your hard work isn’t for nothing!
5. It encourages pollinators
- Planting fruit and veggies encourages bees and other bugs to your garden – particularly herbs such as marjoram, mint, chives and sage.
- Bees are a keystone species (without them, the world could fall apart!) and are vital to the ecosystem, without them we wouldn’t be able to drink coffee or wear cotton.
- In the UK, 35 species of bee are under the threat of extinction, but since 87% of uk households has a garden, so lots of us can help save the bees!
- You can read more about why bees are so important to your garden in my post on creating an eco-friendly garden.
Now that you’ve discovered that having a veg patch is beneficial to the environment, start planning what fruit and veg to plant! If you struggle for space, read my post about how to create a small vegetable garden for some ideas on maximising the space you have available.
Thanks for reading and happy growing!
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