Make One Change, Plant a Seed
In a New York Times Earth Day column, Michael Pollan asks
"Why Bother? That really is the big question facing us as individuals hoping to do something about climate change, and it’s not an easy one to answer."
Mr. Pollan is right, Climate Change is an overwhelming problem. He is also right when he says that we must start somewhere, possibly with a garden.
Mahatma Ghandi said that "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." This philosophy is usually applied to social issues. Yet this is especially relevant as Climate Change is an environmental problem brought on by social issues. Those issues include how we use fuel and power, where our food and clothing come from, where we live and work and how we travel from place to place.
I like the idea of starting with a garden. The simple act of gardening effects many changes at once. Planting a vegetable garden provides you with the freshest, most local food possible; reduces your carbon footprint; encourages outdoor exercise, and replaces ornamental landscape with an edible landscape. The idea of replacing the standard suburban lawn with a vegetable garden is at once radical and highly traditional. You may not be old enough to remember Victory Gardens, but your parents and grandparents do.
Planting a garden is also a sensible and definite way to make a change. Climate change is a problem so large that the only way to start addressing it is to make one change at a time. By making one change at a time we can actually move forward in measurable steps. Each step forward we take personally also affects the people around us. Every change we make will add to the previous one and lead us to the social and governmental changes we must make to stop Global Warming.
Make one change. Plant some seeds. Then make the next change.
National Gardening Association: Food Gardening Guide