What Can We Do? Combatting Climate Change in Your Garden

One of the most common responses to the massive problem of climate change is: What can we do? Many people believe that the power lies in the hands of politicians and big business, and that there is little that individuals can do to create positive change. Especially if you are lucky enough to have a garden, this could not be further from the truth. There is plenty that we can do, both to mitigate climate change, and adapt to it, in our very own gardens. In fact, a garden is the starting point for the solution to many of the world's problems.

Grow Your Own Food

One of the first and most important things to consider is that having even a small garden can allow you to grow some of your own food. Even if you have not much time for gardening, planting a fruit tree, or a perennial bed can provide you with a bounty of edible produce. Planting trees will sequester carbon and help mitigate the effects of human activity.

Growing your own food is one of the best ways to withdraw your support for damaging agricultural systems, reduce the food packaging that enters you home, and do your bit for people and planet. The less food you buy from abroad, or from far away, the lower your carbon footprint will be, and the more sustainably you will be able to live.

Follow the Five 'R's

Growing food in your garden also ties in with other things that you can do around the idea of the five 'R's – refuse, reduce, reuse, repair and recycle. Growing your own food, and gaining other useful yields – timber, fibres, herbal remedies, ingredients for natural beauty products,dyes, crafting materials etc. will also allow you to refuse to buy into damaging products or systems, and to reduce, in general, the amount that you have to buy.

In your garden, you can also reuse a range of items, and find materials that can help you to repair some items that you already own. What is more, having a garden also allows you to create a cyclical system – composting and recycling nutrients throughout the space.

Adapting To Climate Change

As well as taking what steps we can to mitigate climate change, it is also important to adapt to the changes we are seeing, and will continue to see. As a gardener, you can do a lot to enhance self-reliance and build resilience into your local environment. By choosing plants suited to where you live and the conditions to be found there, encouraging and protecting local wildlife and planning for extreme weather events, you can make sure that some positive comes from the changes we are experiencing.

As a gardener, you can use your garden not only for your own personal benefit, but also become a force for good in this world. There is plenty you can do in your outside space, right now, to combat climate change and make a real and tangible difference.