Grow your own, change YOUR world

I was reading the BBC’s seven charts on climate change article and one major thing scientists say will offset increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere, preventing global warming, is to eat less meat. Raising livestock (including fish) requires larger amounts of input than any plant based food does to grow.

Even better, if you grow food yourself there is no transportation and no packaging. Our ancestors working the earth showed us early on how to protect it. These days I don’t use cow milk, I use oat milk which I think is nicer and we eat only 30-50% dinners with meat. Usually fish or chicken but I personally prefer inventive vegetable based meals now.

Of course, there are more benefits to eating more vegetables. All of the leading disease charities encourage eating more veg and less red or processed meat to significantly lower the risk of cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s among others.

Growing your own vegetables can also increase the nutrient value of what you eat. Once picked most produce slowly starts deteriorating, which means the sooner you eat it off the plant the fresher and better for you it can be. I also find they taste nicer, fresh veg being packed with water improving its taste and texture.

Cut flowers are the main thing I’d love people to grow themselves. Step out into your garden and year round there is often more than enough to create a beautiful bunch. Plant more flowers and you’ll never need to buy them again, reducing transport and packaging.

Then there are the physical and psychological benefits of growing stuff. If you get serious about gardening, you’ll find it a good workout. Being outside in fresh air and sunlight is good for the body too. I find it can destress me a lot because when being outside my mind is occupied and not focussed on life’s little worries.

Next year I hope even more people rediscover the benefits of growing your own. A simple seed can change the world and your life. If I can do it, anyone can!

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Jack Wallington

I'm an RHS qualified garden designer living in Clapham, London who loves growing plants and designing with them. Follow me on Twitter.

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