Imagine how much easier life would be if we had fresh fruits and vegetables growing in our home. Building your own vegetable garden has become quite the leisure activity for people these days. Whether they do it for fun, to make their backyard pretty, or use it as a tool to calm their mind, having your own vegetable garden not only helps you but also the environment. And given the current state of our planet, we definitely need to do our part in saving it. Gardening impacts so many aspects of our lives such as the air we breathe, minimizing carbon footprints, and protecting small animals like birds, bees, and butterflies. Even if you only have a small space on your terrace or on your windowsill, you should take advantage and participate in the initiative to improve the health of our planet.

One of the most important features of having your own vegetable garden is that it naturally cleans the air and the ground around it. Through photosynthesis, plants produce oxygen. We breathe out carbon dioxide which is a waste product, but plants recycle it into the air we need to survive. Not only that, but they also filter the air by discarding any types of chemicals or bacteria. What is great about plants is that they are working above ground and underground.

Their roots take up a majority of the materials they come in contact with — chemicals, heavy metals, groundwater. While this may not always benefit your plant, it is a good indicator of what lies beneath the surface. Roots are also helpful in preventing soil erosion as they help bind the soil together which keeps them from washing away after heavy rains or storms. And soil erosion is a major global problem as it reduces our crop yield. With most water movements the victim is often topsoils and these are the soils you want to protect and keep.

They contain a good portion of organic debris and leaf litter which after breakdown add more nutrients into the soil. Especially during annual vegetation much of the decaying materials help jump start the process for the following season’s growth. There are a few types of vegetation that support the overall health of the soil by reducing the use of any synthetic fertilizers. Just in general, they improve the quality of life for all living beings on Earth.

The main purpose of vegetable gardens for most people is to grow their own fresh produce for consumption. As much as I enjoy my grocery trips, they are definitely not helping my planet given the amount of carbon footprint involved. By growing your own food, you don’t have to be worried about going to the grocery store so many times for basic fruits and vegetables. And it is honestly not that difficult to grow and maintain staple herbs, vegetables, and fruits.

Some even grow year-round. I have been working on my vegetable garden for the past two to three years and it has been an exhilarating experience. The startup cost, too, is pretty affordable as you just need a watering source, ground or containers, and seeds. What I appreciate about vegetable gardens is that they provide a safe space for life to exist. Green spaces welcome wildlife and it is a beautiful phenomenon that not many people get to experience in their day-to-day lives.

Pollinators, particularly, need quite a bit of support and your vegetable garden will provide them more than just energy. The plants you grow will function as a haven for them to use to hide from predators and harsh weather. So many of these insects and plants can complete their life cycles peacefully and keep our environment functioning.

I know that when people think of saving the planet they think too big sometimes and that can be daunting for sure. But these little steps do so much for the environment and for us. Gardening addresses both personal and environmental concerns all at once. The bottom line is that any type of greenery is good because they impact our environment positively. A healthy environment is the building block to a happy lifestyle, all you have to do is start because what do you have to lose?