Gardens contribute to the urban environment more than you think and should be encouraged.
Seems like there is a trend these days of having paved ground instead of gardens or having artificial grass instead of the real grass.
While people enjoy the benefit of convenience that this trend has provided, it takes a toll on the rising urban temperatures and declining biological diversity.
An expert in landscape horticulture at the University of Sheffield, Professor Ross Cameron, said: “Gardens account for a third of all our urban areas and are vital spaces in terms of keeping our buildings and city environments cool in summer, absorbing rain to avoid flash flooding and providing an important refuge for wildlife.” He suggested gardeners with a home full of plants should receive financial incentives.
For the full version of this article, visit The Guardian.
The study recommended councils offer incentives for installing permeable/green surfacing in the garden, such as reducing council tax and water bills.
The aim is to drive people away from the trend and build greener gardens. Another suggested action would be banning materials that harm the environment, like pesticides or facilities like astroturf.
The Concern of Rising Urban Temperature
When the urban temperature rises, it can cause an urban heat island. Urban heat island is when a city has a much warmer temperature than the nearby rural areas.
The reason for the rising temperature is that cities have fewer plants. All the grass, trees and crops absorb water from their roots, evaporate and release it into the air, act as a natural air conditioner to keep the temperature down.
On the other hand, cities have more roads, streets and buildings that are usually built using cement, asphalt, brick, and steel. Those materials are often dark, which will absorb heat from the sun. Also, they are most likely not permeable, meaning there are no water circulation and evaporation to cool down.
What does this mean?
You might think a little heat won’t kill you. It might be true, but it can cause dehydration, heat exhaustion, and power outages because more energy will be used to operate fans and air conditioners.
The Importance of Biodiversity
Biodiversity is all the different types of organisms around us, plants, insects, animals, and microorganisms. They all work together in the ecosystem to support their lives on Earth.
It is also crucial to us since we rely so much on nature to provide for us. Think about the food we eat, the medicines we use, the clothes we wear. They all exist thanks to the natural ecosystems.
While experts are researching and raising awareness, they need everyone to act on it. That’s where you come in, starting from your home.
If you are fortunate enough to have a garden, consider maintaining your garden with natural turf instead of paving. RainCatcher can help with the water bill in case councils have not yet acted on the suggestion of giving financial incentives. Install Rainwater Harvesting Tanks to reuse rainwater for watering plants, flushing toilets and washing cars. Or you can use the RainCatcher Soakaway Crates to prevent flooding in your area.
You can still fill your home with plants without a garden. Talking about it can also help spread the message!