The Climate Crisis has made it clear that things need to change if we want them to get better. All around us, we are seeing its effects. Wildfires, rising sea levels, animal extinction: all these things are but a taste of what is yet to come if we don’t make changes to our lifestyle. But where do we start? It can be daunting to tackle something like climate change on such a large scale, especially if you’re unable to make the changes to your busy schedule to lobby for change and volunteer abroad. However, the fight against climate change doesn’t have to be something that you work towards on a global scale. It can simply be something you tend to in your own backyard, such as creating a community garden. 

Aside from making an effort to live more sustainably and protecting the environment, there are a variety of practical reasons why creating a community garden is a great idea. For one, it can help those in your neighborhood who might be struggling financially, allowing them a place where they can grow and procure food for their family without the price tag. It can give the community a more aesthetically pleasing look, thus having the effect of increasing the property values surrounding it. It’s not just a way of helping the environment, but also helping the neighbors around you. It also helps to encourage biodiversity, protecting the vital species in your neighborhood and ensuring the continuation of pollinator species. All these factors make establishing a community garden a great way to aid in the fight against climate change.

Of course, this isn’t going to be an easy endeavor. There is a lot of paperwork and preparation that comes with creating a community garden. The most important step is for you to look up your local government’s policies on the matter. This includes finding an empty plot of land to start your garden, learning the responsibilities that come with taking care of a community-owned plot, and convincing your local government of the importance of meeting your request. Your next step would be to find a group of people in your community willing to volunteer to develop the garden, as well as a sponsor who would be willing to fund the project. All these aspects are the most difficult part. Navigating the local laws and researching sponsors isn’t something the everyday person has to deal with and doing so can be a tricky process. It will take a lot of research, planning, and effort on your part, but to foster a greener future it will be worth it. 

Another aspect of creating a community garden that you might want to consider is establishing a community compost heap. Compost is created by allowing organic materials to decompose and be used as fertilizer. In other words, it’s another form of recycling. Creating a compost heap doesn’t just help the garden, it also helps the neighborhood be more sustainable as a whole. Things that would normally go to waste—such as food scraps, fruit peels, and coffee grinds—will now be put to good use, allowing for less waste and better recycling habits within the community. Although a great addition to your growing community garden, it will take some effort to maintain in terms of watering, adding new materials, and mixing them in. However, the amount of effort will be worth the results.

Sometimes the best thing you can do to contribute to the protection of our home planet is to incorporate sustainable aspects into your life. By creating a community garden, you are not only doing something that benefits the planet, but you are also benefiting yourself and those around you. Sometimes that’s all the incentive that people need to live a greener, more sustainable lifestyle.

If you’re interested in more environmentally conscious content, check out Volunteering: Protecting the Earth and Keeping Hope Alive.