Growing your own food has many social and environmental benefits. For one, it helps save money. You do not have to go to the grocery store and buy the vegetables and fruits. I would love to have a garden. I believe I would be able to do it. I have never grown anything in my life though. I would have to learn.
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My mother and I like to grow our own vegetables and herbs during the summer time. We try our best in the wintertime but we don’t have a place in a window to put them for the plants to grow. We like the fresh taste, and it’s so cool to see how well you did growing your own! As for our backyard, we would grow a lot more than we do now but we don’t have that land to grow it on.
When I got my carbon footprints back I was shocked to discover that the majority of my CO2 emissions came from food. Four meals out of my seven meals consist of meat; so to discover that meat is a large sum of the CO2 that I personally produce shocked me. I have also just found out that most meat will now give me acid reflux. In a strange way having acid reflux has made me cut down the consumption of meat I eat. I am not saying everyone should get acid reflux, but I am saying that is possible to eat less meat in order to cut down our CO2 emissions. In my hometown, we do not have a local garden, but our class is working to make one at the High School. I believe that our community would use the local garden, which would in turn help our environment. The only problem with the garden is the size, if it were to feed just half of our community the garden would have to be double the size that it is now.
Unfortunately, due to our current living arrangements, my family can’t have an actual garden. We can plant things and what not, but we just don’t have the space that is required to maintain a healthy garden. However, gardens are not anything new or foreign to my family.
In my family, there is a long background of gardens and home grown foods. For my parents, they grew up eating vegetables and fresh foods right from their backyard. Not everything, such as their rice, was home grown, but for the most part things were straight from their backyard. It was nothing special; it is the common way of things in their part of Nigeria. They knew that not everyone had a “garden” (they didn’t think of it as a garden, more so just their main source of food) and actually took pride in having one. They knew the importance of it and didn’t see the value in going out to dine at a place where they didn’t know what was actually in the food (that was really the main concern).
So for both of my parents, their families, and all that were before them, they realized the importance of having a garden way before they knew what a carbon footprint even was. A website I found actually goes in to detail about most of the benefits that my family found in growing their food right from home. The website focuses on the improvement of Australia, and that’s obviously not why my family grew their own food, but the ideas are generally the same. The link is below.
After calculating my carbon foot print, part of my carbon food print I use is from eating! I love eating meat, but I HATE eating vegetables. I really don’t like eating vegetables and eating a lot of meat has an impact on carbon footprint. I want to reduce my carbon footprint as much as a can! I think that eating less meat would help reduce my carbon footprint. I could also start eating more vegetable meals instead of eating meat for every meal! Also I want to eat more whole foods instead of foods that are preserved.
My family has a vegetable garden and a compost pile in our backyard. Composting has a lot of great advantages to it. One, it reduces the amount of waste you throw out and two, it provides a natural fertilizer for your garden or even just your grass. While a lot of store bought fertilizers have many chemicals in them fertilizer made out of compost is organic and can’t harm the earth or our water ways in any way. As for our garden, it reduces the amount of fruits and vegetables that we use when they aren’t in season. Instead we use the ones that are easily accessible from our garden.
To reduce your carbon footprint you could grow your own garden in your yard. It not only benefits you, but it benefits the world around you. Growing your own food can help protect the air and water around you because you are not using pesticides and fossil fuels will not be used to transport it. This can really cut down on the world’s carbon emission. It can help you by helping you be active and spending time out side as well as cutting down the amount of money you spend on food. After you buy the soil, fertilizer and seeds to grow these foods there is not much else you need. After you plants start to bloom you will probably have saved the amount of money you spend on the things to grow the garden and you will continue to profit from it. The food that you grow yourself also tastes the best. You can have the comfort of knowing what went on every step of your foods growth and know that it does not have an pesticides or other chemicals in it.
When you buy your food from the grocery store usually those products are shipped in from different states or even different countries. Think about how much carbon is being emitted to get that food to the stores. It takes planes, trucks, and ships to get your package of food to your store. For example Britain imports and exports 15,000 tons of waffles per year! That is a lot of waffles. Now think about the fact that Britain is about 7,633 miles from Texas, where I live, and how much carbon it takes it to go those 7,633 miles. It is a lot of carbon! This is not only happening with waffles but with a lot of fruits that are not in season where you live, but are in season somewhere else in the world. A way to reduce this carbon emission is to cut down on things that you buy at the grocery store buy a lot of your groceries at a farmers market. Farmers markets have fresh, local food that usually tastes better. It is also a great way to meet new people in your community as well as getting out of the house and enjoying some fresh air. I go to my local farmers market every Saturday with my family and I really enjoy it. There is great food and lots of new people to meet.
When we’re in grocery stores, we don’t often think of where our food comes from or why strawberries and other common fruit is available year round. Years ago, fruit and vegetables were only available during their local growing seasons, but now that seems almost archaic. However, this constant importation has negative effects on the environment. For example, in California in 2005, the import of fruits, nuts, and vegetables released more than 70,000 tons of carbon into the atmosphere which is the equivalent of more than 12,000 cars on the road. This is only one state in the United States, so obviously, our want for fruits and vegetables to be available on a consistent basis is damaging to our earth. Today, the average American prepared meal contains on average, 5 ingredients from countries outside the United States. Awareness must be raised on why locally grown food is better not only for yourself, but for the world. A study shows that when you combine all locally grown food, less carbon dioxide is produced in transport than in one imported product. The effects of this pollution on our health may be reflected in higher cases of asthma and other respiratory symptoms, as well as more school absence days for children. The California Air Resources Board estimates that in
2005 alone, 2,400 premature deaths and 2,800 hospital admissions for asthma and other diseases were caused by direct and indirect exposure to diesel pollution from freight transport activities within the state. We must focus more on locally grown products because this excessive importation is detrimental to the people living in the area as well! This importation is worse than cars, for example 300 tons of sooty particulate matter were released into the air—the equivalent of more than 1.2 million cars or 53 power plants in California. A way to stop this is to buy locally grown food at farmers markets near you and to avoid buying produce that is flown in from abroad!
One way to reduce your carbon footprint is to grow your own food. Where I live this is really unusual, but I think if enough people started growing some of their own food it could make a huge difference in our carbon footprint as a community. Growing your own food, such as vegetables, means that the veggies that you would normally buy wouldn’t be transported to you local grocery store or farmer’s market, and you wouldn’t have to drive to the store to buy the products. Growing our own food can also have other benefits as well. The food we eat will be healthier and fresh from our own backyard (or farm). You can also save money, and brighten up your community. I found a website that shows how people grow more food themselves when food prices go up. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/24729307/ns/business-retail/t/food-prices-rise-more-people-grow-their-own/#.Ula-Pm1x5Ao