School gardens have been part of the educational curriculum for over a century. When they were first introduced, they provided agricultural knowledge to students, addressed health concerns, supplied fresh food, etc.
Nowadays, school gardens are part of the curriculum that addresses sustainability and global climate change. That’s the reason why schools are interested in buying seeds for classroom gardening.
This way, they can make a point and educate students about one of the most pressing questions we all face as a civilization.
The Benefits of School Gardens in the Fight Against Climate Change
Approximately 24% of all greenhouse gasses come from agriculture. That’s a massive percentage of greenhouses gasses that we can’t afford to ignore. But, with the help of school gardens, students can learn how to mitigate climate risks in more than one way.
Almost one-third of all produced food is wasted. School gardens will help kids learn how much effort and time is needed to produce vegetables and fruits. The idea is to make them think about food wasting and how important it is to avoid that.
Livestock production and climate change
Meat production is a major contributor to gas emissions and deforestation. By introducing kids to gardening, they can get a better sense of the benefits of a plant-based diet.
Pollution coming from the uncontrolled use of fertilizers
School gardens present a great way to introduce children to natural food-growing practices. These practices don’t require any artificial fertilizers. Students get to learn food-growing methods that include composting, mulching, plant diversity, etc.
Food miles and food transporting emissions
On average, a meal travels 1,200 km to reach its final destination. That’s a lot of food transport emissions. Then again, a school garden can serve as the perfect example of how to decrease those emissions. For example, the school garden can supply their cafeteria food with fresh vegetables and fruits.
That’s practically zero transport emissions. Buying fruits and vegetables from local farmers for the local cafeteria is also a way to reduce food transportation emissions.
How to Start a School Garden Project?
The benefits of starting a school garden largely outweigh the effort needed to start a project. Here are some tips on how to start a school garden project.
- Starting a school garden project requires a team of people working toward a common goal. A working group of teachers, students, administrators, support staff, and parents can kickstart the project.
- Find the right spot for a school garden. While you are at it, make sure that the spot aligns with the district’s policies concerning school gardens. After developing a site plan, you need to send all the documents to the school district for approval.
- After the school district authorities’ green light, the team needs to secure funding. To secure funds, you can ask for sponsorship from local businesses, organize an online crowdfunding campaign, make school bake sales, and so on.
It is everyone’s duty to help in the battle against climate change. So starting a school garden project can easily be your calling. Perhaps the new Greta Thunberg will emerge from your group of young gardeners.