Trials and tales of a not-so-advanced gardener--both in the dirt and beyond.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Even the New York Times says to grow a garden.

Sunday's New York Times Magazine had an interesting article, in The Green Issue: Why Bother?. It's a long article, but basically boils down to suggesting people grow a vegetable garden. (Thanks to Tod for sending it my way...)

It battles the idea that no matter what you do--become a locavore (eating only locally grown items), buy a hybrid, install solar panels, etc--there is always the possibility that someone is "undoing" what you've just not done. We are already in this mess, so Why Bother?

The reason why: "If you do bother, you will set an example for other people. If enough other people bother, each one influencing yet another in a chain reaction of behavioral change, markets for all manner of green products and alternative technologies will prosper and expand." So basically create social change.

I've seen this happen to me in the past year, for example. Historically, I've not been particularly interested in recycling, "doing my part for the environment" or considered my "carbon footprint"--now I recycle everything I can. This includes creating a spot at home to keep recyclables: plastics, newspaper, aluminum cans. Towing cardboard to the Wal-Mart parking lot (the only place in town where I can find it's accepted). Carrying reusable fabric bags, recycling the plastic bags (when I forget to get them) is something else. Now there is the crazy idea of composting leaves and coffee grounds so they don't go into the landfills. I'm using cloth napkins at dinner and cleaning with old rags instead of paper towels. Spring is finally here and so is the opportunity to bike to the grocery, the pool, to lunch as well as work. Two years ago these things would be the last on my mind, but now I am consciously thinking of them everyday.

But how much of what I do matters?

The author states that while it seems like a "why bother" state, planting a garden might be the key to getting out of it. "At least in this one corner of your yard and life, you will have begun to heal the split between what you think and what you do, to commingle your identities as consumer and producer and citizen. Chances are, your garden will re-engage you with your neighbors, for you will have produce to give away and the need to borrow their tools."

Trowels up! Go grow something! :)

No comments: