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The environmental benefits of growing your own produce

3rd December 213 mins
By Toucan

The environmental benefits of growing your own produce

There are many reasons why you should grow your own produce - it can bring both environmental and personal benefits. Growing produce can reap many rewards, and all you need is some outdoor space (big or small), seeds, water, and a little time. Combine it all, and you’ll soon have your own edible garden that can help the environment at the same time! 

But what are these environmental benefits? Keep on reading, and you’ll be able to find out about them: 

No need for plastic

You’ll notice that if you buy your produce in supermarkets, it will most likely come in a type of plastic packaging. Although supermarkets are trying to reduce the amount of plastic packaging they are using, they still have it to keep fruit and vegetables fresh, especially if they are transported across the globe. 

UK households have been reported to use over 500,000 tonnes of plastic food packaging each, with less than half of this recycled. Plastic packaging can also be improperly disposed of, meaning that it can cause a large amount of damage to the ecosystem. 

Produce grown in your back garden or even windowsill is absolutely going to be fresh, so there will be no need for it to get packaged for transit, plus none going to waste.

Less food waste

You might not consider gardening as a low-waste strategy, but you read it right, growing your own produce can also reduce food waste. Rather than sending vegetable cuttings to landfill, you can start composting them, making use of the compost to improve the quality of your plants. 

As well as using it for compost, you can grow tasty, healthy produce from clean kitchen scraps. They often have plenty of life left in them but may need a chance to grow. Ever forgotten about some spring onions at the back of the fridge and still want to use them up? Just save the root part and place it root down in a cup of water. Top up the water every few days and, in as little as a week, you could have fresh spring onions! 

Reduced carbon footprint

Another benefit of starting your own produce garden is that it allows you to cook with ingredients that have been grown as close to home as possible. By reducing your consumption of food grown hundreds or maybe thousands of miles away, your carbon footprint will decrease. 

In 2020, it was reported that 84% of fruit and 44% of vegetables in the UK had been imported. To get these products to supermarkets, a large number of miles are added to the carbon footprint. 

By growing your own food, you are helping to reduce the high amounts of fossil fuels burned that fill the environment resulting from importing foods from other countries. 

Reduces use of pesticides

In commercial farming, pesticides are used to treat crops to protect them from pests and diseases that could damage or destroy them. There are several environmental impacts from the widespread use of these pesticides, as they can easily contaminate the air, ground, and water. They can also impact wildlife in the area. 

By growing your own produce, you are the one who decides what goes onto the plants and into the soil. It will allow you to reduce the number of pesticides used in the growing process and lessen the number of chemicals polluting the air and water. Not only is it a sustainable change, but it brings the reward of fresh, home-grown foods that cannot be beaten. 

Small changes like starting your own produce garden can make an impact for the better. Whether you begin your own herb garden or have a full vegetable patch, it will go a long way in helping the environment. If you are particularly interested in environmental causes, why not download the Toucan app. You can search for environmental charities and add them to your portfolio to make a monthly contribution. 

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