The journey to a more sustainable future involves more than reducing our carbon emissions. We also need to think about our interactions with the planet and its natural resources; we need to dial up the green. The carbon sinks which remove CO2 from the atmosphere such as trees, soils and oceans all need to be nurtured. We rely on a healthy and resilient ecosystem for our food and green and shaded surroundings for our health and wellbeing. We can do a lot to look after all of these aspects both directly in our homes and gardens and more widely by attending to the food we eat; what we buy and how it was grown can make a big difference to environmental footprint.
When I started on my Climate Journey I thought I was doing okay in my relationship with land and nature; now I realise there is so much more I can easily do. I was already making charitable donations to protect our forests and plant more trees. I grew some of my own fruit and vegetables. In 2019 I committed to growing even more veg and planting trees locally. In 2020 I started to include insect friendly gardening to help increase biodiversity. Looking ahead I plan to do even more of these things and to switch to food produced by regenerative growing methods that don’t use fertilisers.
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If you would like to read more about my exploration of Land and Nature on my journey towards a Kaleidoscope future see my journal post “Embracing the green”
Land use and Farming are complex topics with many different aspects relating to climate change and sustainability. There is an increased impetus to move towards a more systems based approach, often referred to as Regenerative farming.
The use of fertilisers in our food production has a number of environmental effects. Leaching of fertilisers from soils leads to water pollution causing algal blooms (eutrophication) and the release of N2O (a powerful greenhouse gas) into the atmosphere. Moving to organically grown food sources is a further way to reduce our ecological footprint.