Although gardens are typically found in suburban or rural areas, they also can be grown in a busy, bustling city. This idea to grow urban gardens can date back to ‘victory gardens’ during both World Wars. At the time, Americans were encouraged to grow their own food in any available space including city rooftops and fire escapes due to wartime scarcities. Now, urban gardening continues to be on the rise in more cities and neighborhoods as they reap plentiful environmental and health benefits.
Blooming Environmental Benefits
There’s no doubt plants are a vital part of life. They help us breathe by giving off oxygen while also absorbing carbon dioxide. Through this, urban gardens can help filter out some of the air pollution in cities. Food often travels miles and miles for packaging and delivery but by harvesting your own local produce, you can lower carbon emissions from less transportation. When working in an urban garden, you can opt for more environmentally friendly practices such as using less pesticides.
Rooftop gardens or green roofs can especially be helpful during summer heat waves. They not only provide shade but reduce temperatures on the roof and surrounding air. These gardens have been proven to combat the urban heat island effect which is when cities grow hotter due to the dry pavement and buildings absorbing the heat from the sun. But with rooftop gardens, city wide ambient air can drop up to 5°F. During rainy seasons and storms, green roofs and gardens can absorb rainwater and prevent storm-water runoff.
Nourishing Physical and Mental Health
By planting a community urban garden, it gives locals the opportunity to have more fresh, affordable and healthier produce. It can also help educate those in the community whether it’s through youth programs or just local residents about the importance of a healthy, balanced diet. By doing so, it can reduce the risk of those having health conditions like heart disease, diabetes or obesity. Working in the garden itself not only provides exercise but a deeper appreciation to agriculture and the environment.
Gardens are not only a space for plants to grow, but the community too. Just organizing and maintaining an urban garden itself takes teamwork and can help bring the neighborhood together towards a common cause. Gardening, regardless if it’s done alone or in a group can help your mental health by reducing stress. A garden can be the perfect oasis for you to relax especially in a lively city.
Whether you’re growing a garden in your city or want to start using renewable energy with our green electricity plans, City Power and Gas is committed to help you live a more eco-friendly lifestyle.