A global pandemic has engulfed the world and we are all in a temporary state of lockdown. In times like these, it is important to understand the crucial bond between humans and the flora & fauna around us. Ever since the industrial revolution, the boundaries of human establishments have been expanding continuously. They keep penetrating deeper into several ecosystems which were initially inhabited by different plant and animals species. Some of these plants and animals are now endangered or are already extinct.
During the lockdown, it is near-impossible to go out for even small walks in the neighborhood. However, there still exists ways to get familiarized with your local environment. One of the best ways is to grow and nurture plants in your home. There are several ways in which this can be done depending on the space and resources (like soil and water) available and budget.
The plants you grow may not just be ornamental. There is low regard for the biodiversity existing around us in urban spaces. You can therefore go for biodiversity gardening, wildlife gardening or even open a kitchen garden. Still other ways of growing plants include making up terrariums, hydroponics or aeroponics. While during the lockdown, you don’t find much to do around at home and growing plants can provide you with multiple benefits. The benefits will be good for both you and your surroundings. Some of these benefits include:
1. Get to experience Food Biodiversity
Growing plants or a whole garden will let you explore different varieties of plants and flowers which are found in your local environment. Since it is difficult to go and buy seeds of certain plants right now, you can be utilize seeds of vegetables and fruits. You can also click here to buy some organic vegetables seeds online.
This will give you multiple benefits including assurance of quality, chemical free food supply, ample supply of vegetables and a better supply of nutrients to your body. It is common knowledge that produce eaten shortly after harvest retains more nutrients. This will also reduce your ecological footprint and also help you save money.
In times like these, it can be a good option to go for a self-sustainable lifestyle where you can depend on your kitchen gardens for your daily supply of vegetables and fruits. Moreover, most plants will attract different birds or insects for pollination. This will help you also explore the vast biodiversity around you. You can help these animals by building water-stations for birds!
2. Upgrade your waste management skills
An important requirement for building any type of garden involves the use of compost. You can use this opportunity to upgrade your waste management skills and stop throwing away wet waste. This wet waste only ends up in an overflowing landfill and comes back to you in ugly ways. Learning waste management could complement the idea of gardens, where you can segregate certain wet waste and convert it into compost. You can also buy a Khambha, which is an excellent home compost system developed by Daily Dump.
This compost so produced can then be used for giving nourishment to the the plants, especially to vegetable and fruit plants. Hence, you will witness the cyclical process of resource-to-resource and learn that nothing in Nature goes “waste”. Since you will then throw less waste away, your carbon footprint will be reduced. Moreover, you will be saving money in making your own compost.
3. Tackle the heat
The weather cycle of late has been terribly mis-shaped due to factors like global warming and the climate crisis. It has become very hard to predict weather since some time now. Many places throughout India are witnessing strong heat waves, which has also become another challenge for urban planners to think about. In such a scenario, it is a good option that we think of internal cooling of the houses, and at the same time avoid any new sources of carbon emissions.
One way of doing this is by making small terrariums which involves very less space and at the same time provide us with multiple benefits. These small plant spaces improve the environmental impact of a household by insulating houses against temperature extremes. They also help in reducing the domestic energy use.
There are also some NASA recommended air purifying plants available to buy online. If you are looking to read something interesting during this lockdown, you can pick up a Kindle edition or get a hard copy of Skogluft (forest air), the Norwegian secret of bringing the right plants inside your home. A sufficient amount of plants (depending on the number of people in a household) can lead to an improvement in localized air cooling.
4. Improve your mental health
There has been an increase in the number of mental health illness related cases during the lockdown. It is important that this problem is recognized, and certain steps should be taken to improve the mental health of every person. Growing plants within a household is one of the best ways to do so!
It has been reported by many medical institutes that domestic gardens and indoor plants act as therapy and reduce stress in the age of lifestyle diseases such as hypertension, depression, anxiety, etc. There are many aromatic plants which help you remain calm and also ease the flow of blood in your body. The very act of gardening also benefits your physical health as it involves the use of several muscles.
5. Better family and social interactions
Gardening can be more interesting if it is made as a family hobby with everyone taking care of some plants. This can be a chance for you to reduce your dependency on electronic items and interact with your families. Moreover, people living in societies or apartments can open a vast kitchen garden and at the same time segregate waste together which will benefit a large number of people at the same time.
There is much literature available online when it comes to gardening and you may utilize your time in exploring something which is beneficial both personally and environmentally. Though, it is advised that certain precautions be made during the lockdown while practicing gardening. However, the lockdown can just be the time when you begin this and it should continue until long after the pandemic is over.
It has always been important that we take some time out from our daily schedule and interact with the vast biodiversity around us. Gardening might just be the perfect way to do so.