Climate change is often thought of as a problem of the future. However, scientists agree it is already affecting our daily lives. Species decline, extreme weather events, and challenges to the resiliency of our current food supply are just a few of the impacts of a warming climate.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed in the face of these challenges. But the food system, when we intentionally care for and invest in it, can be a powerful part of the solution.
Food has a planet-sized impact. Our current food system’s trail from farm to fork to landfill accounts for as much as 34% of global greenhouse gas emissions. So, what can we do about it? The solution begins in our own backyards.
Trellis for Tomorrow’s network of 25 Food for All gardens—and the members who support it—play a critical role in adapting to and overcoming the challenges of a changing climate. Each time you dig your hands into a garden bed, be it at a Trellis for Tomorrow garden or beyond, you are cultivating a garden on guard against our changing climate. Here’s how…
Gardens on guard:
24/24. A journey of a thousand miles doesn’t just begin with a single step…it also begins with more carbon emissions. The average piece of produce travels over 1,500 miles before landing on your plate. A longer supply chain means more emissions and a shorter shelf-life, contributing to food waste and accelerating climate change. 100% of Trellis for Tomorrow organic produce is delivered within 24 miles from the point of harvest, and almost all is made available to address hunger within 24 hours of harvest. This model treats both the recipients and our environment with greater dignity and respect, leading to better health outcomes for all.
Eat clean and grow green. There are a variety of land management practices, such as no-till soil practices or drip line irrigation systems, that can help sequester more carbon, boost biodiversity and increase crop resilience. All of these tools are important pieces of the puzzle in equipping our communities to mitigate further effects of climate change…and give us yummy, nutrient-dense food to boot!
Open spaces, cool breezes. Every garden we cultivate cools our atmosphere. Through giving nature spaces to thrive, we are filling our region with more welcoming places for flora and fauna alike—instead of parking lots or buildings. Places for plants to flourish helps cool the air we breathe, clean the water we drink, and give insects and wildlife habitat to call home.
Bringing the outside in. Gardening wields a dual power, with its environmental benefits extending beyond climate change mitigation. As green thumbs nurture plants, they absorb carbon dioxide, curbing greenhouse gas emissions. Simultaneously, the act of gardening cultivates a profound connection to nature, fostering a sense of responsibility and gratification, elevating one’s well-being and self-worth.
Save the spray. Say it with us: don’t spray it! One billion pounds of pesticides are applied each year in the US, which can cause direct harm to birds and reduce the number of insects available to them. A healthy ecosystem is key to combatting climate change. Each time you opt for organic gardening practices, like the hand weeding approach taught in all Trellis for Tomorrow gardens, you are mitigating climate change from the ground up.
No one person can fix everything. But each person, as you exemplify, can do something. As a member of our Food for All gardens, you are making a difference—one day in the garden at a time. And that food for thought is something to feel good about.
Looking for more ways to help? Generosity grows our gardens. Learn more about supporting our work with a donation at https://trellis4tomorrow.kindful.com/