Because of the increasing world population, and that more than half of the world lives in densely populated cities, nearly all of us will be adversely affected by air pollution, if we haven’t been already.
The effects of air pollution on our health are well-documented. For adults, health concerns include increased respiratory failure, decreased lung function; for children worldwide, the effects are even more severe as their immune systems are less developed and thus more sensitive to pollution.
Urban gardening is a worldwide phenomenon, for most cities, urban gardening is used as a means of food production which also helps vulnerable communities in economic development. Though urban food production isn’t without controversy (as the produce merely absorbs the pollutants that people thus ingest while others argue that the effects of this is arguably minimal), the data is clear: more greenery in cities helps improve the overall air quality.Adding these green spaces to major cities helps with both mental and physical health of the cities’ residents more willing to share the produce with neighbors, friends, and community members in need.
Urban gardening doesn’t have to stop in our neighborhoods or in our backyards.
Schools in urban settings can be an ideal place to start gardening projects for teachers and students.
Gardening in the urban school setting provides students access to healthy fresh foods in otherwise inaccessible neighborhoods.
Students learn how to grow fresh fruits and vegetables, some of which are new to their palate, while teachers provide information about healthy eating. Children who benefit from having a school garden also have a better relationship with food thanks to the increase in fruit and vegetable consumption.
Students who participate in gardening clearly learn how access to fresh fruits and vegetables improve their own lives. The skills learned at an early age also affect the type of adults these students become. Researchers generally agree that students who actively, or even passively, interact with nature end up having greater positive attitudes about nature well into adulthood.
School and urban gardens are thus one way to ensure an environmentally-conscious future.
Petit Pas team