This phrase appears in many recent industry trend reports, but I don’t quite remember what they mean by it. Here’s what I mean by it. For years now, it’s been abundantly clear that the country (and planet) we all garden on is threatened with wide-ranging environmental peril. We all know this. It is so very, very far from news. But. It now appears that the US government has chosen to be among the few entities that chooses to pretend that this peril is nonexistent, and is proceeding with environmental policies that will dismantle existing protections and inflict further damage.
Just briefly: the new EPA director is a longstanding enemy of the EPA who has sued the agency—many times—and now plans to reduce and eliminate many regulations protecting our water and air. Another member of the new administration is also a longtime fossil fuel executive. And already, executive orders have either been signed or are in the works that make dumping waste into streams easier, enable greenhouse-gas emissions, and otherwise help industrial polluters. It’s not like it’s all going to happen right away, but, given the limited system of check and balances currently in place, it’s hard to see what will stop it.
Enough. So depressing. Rather than bemoan the evils of the present, I’d prefer to contemplate personal action that will help on a local level and support the nonprofits that will be at the forefront of these battles. That’s what I call gardening with a purpose. As follows:
- Tree planting. It may not seem like much, but it’s a relatively easy and locally effective way to make the environment that surrounds you a healthier place. We have an ongoing program in my neighborhood for replacing and planting new street trees. We’re able to ensure better diversity of species, too.
- Support your local preserves, parks, and public gardens. The big preserves and national parklands are in peril from drilling and relaxed regulations. If people show up when they’re threatened, it has an impact—as we’ve seen. There are also memberships and other funding opportunities. Recently, I purchased native plants from a local preserve, which helps them and enhances my garden.
- Read what my fellow Ranters say about cool ways to design for wildlife, so that it’s actually beneficial and looks good. They know more about this stuff than I do.
- Show up for biodiversity, wildlife protection, and the environment. Your representatives probably hold town halls; if not, they can be shamed into it, as we’re doing here in Western New York. Don’t let them control/suppress discourse. Direct the conversation.
Many of us have changed our gardening habits dramatically over the past decade or two, which is great, but we may have to take that mindset out into the world now that it looks like we’re in for a jarring setback.Posted by Elizabeth Licata on February 21, 2017 at 9:34 am, in the category Gardening on the Planet.