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What Makes Gardening Green?
Eco-friendly gardening is growing organic. It is creating food, flowers, and herbs without the use of chemicals and pesticides. It is the use of natural, organic fertilizers instead of harsh synthetics. It is an effort to rotate crops and preserve the soil, to minimize transportation and the unnecessary use of fossil fuels. It is preparing, planting, and harvesting with the well-being of the Earth in mind. Organic eco-friendly practices are often more difficult to maintain, yet the green gardening benefits are well worth the effort.
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Organic for the People
How does organic farming benefit people? Both the individual gardeners and society as a whole are better off without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. These toxins remain in the soil, pollute the air, and contaminate the water. People who live on or near commercial farms are especially affected. Pollutants end up in the food that we eat, the water we drink, and the air that we breathe. As conventional farming practices continue, it will become increasingly difficult to find virgin soil to use.
The fruits of organic practices are also much healthier than conventional products. Organic foods are nutrient-dense. They are free from chemical and pesticide residues. One of the best things about planting your own green garden is the access to free organic fruits and vegetables right in your backyard. Buying organic produce in the store can be expensive, while growing at home costs next to nothing. You can use kitchen scraps to create your own compost, collect rainwater for irrigation, and reuse yogurt cups for raised gardens. Green efforts yield a more nutritious, efficient product, as well as a safer environment for people to live in.
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Organic for the Earth
Organic practices are better for the Earth, not only because they do not introduce more chemicals into the environment, but because they promote sustainability. Encouraging biodiversity through rotating crops and planting a variety of seeds enhances the vitality of the Earth. Conventional practices pollute, but they also stifle. They may work well for five, even ten years, but eventually the soil loses much of its richness and mineral content, while also becoming infused with chemicals. It is no longer efficient, and no longer sustainable.
Even a small backyard organic garden nurtures both the Earth and the people who use it. The more people who grow organic and live organic, the more society as a whole will accept and support the transition to sustainable agriculture. As the world population and the need for nutrient-rich food continues to grow, eco-friendly methods will become even more important to the future. Enjoy green benefits of eco-friendly gardening. Know that you are not only growing great organic plants and saving money for yourself, but you are also contributing to the well-being of the future.
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Chua, Jasmin Malik. "How to Go Green: Gardening." (Planet Discovery) http://planetgreen.discovery.com/go-green/gardening/green-gardening-basics.html
"Organic foods: Are they safer? More nutritious?" (Mayo Clinic) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/organic-food/nu00255
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Photo by Hoyasmeg (CC/flickr) http://www.flickr.com/photos/emeryjl/371341778/