By: Cassi Kirkland
As college students, it’s often hard to see how we can contribute to living a sustainable lifestyle. Sure, living sustainably sounds nice: better for the earth and better for our diets. Eat local, limit the processed junk, and contribute a smaller carbon footprint to our environment. But how do we, students dependent on dining halls, cheap fast food, and a lack of fresh produce, take steps towards a healthier lifestyle deemed increasingly important by scientists and doctors worldwide?
The answer: start a garden. When many of us think of gardens, we generally think of an older person (i.e. grandma) digging up a huge wormy backyard to plant. However, it doesn’t have to be on such a large scale. Start small! Many people grow small plants, like herbs, indoors. It’s approximately a $15 venture (depending on supplies you choose), but the reward? Learning the basics and getting some free produce to cook fresh meals. You can eventually plant these outdoors, but if you don’t have a yard, herbs can remain an indoor plant.
If you really love your herb garden and want to expand, you can plant things like tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini. They don’t take up a lot of space, and they can really cut down on the cost of finding and buying fresh produce for healthy meals. It’s even easier if you share a house with a few people, and you can save on shared groceries.
It’s worth mentioning that there are many clubs on campus doing work for sustainability, and Michigan Sustainable Foods Initiative even sells fresh produce at places on campus. Ann Arbor also hosts it’s own Farmer’s Market at least once a week year round. Growing your own garden is not the only way for you to contribute to sustainable living, but it can be less expensive and more rewarding than taking a bus to the nearest grocery store in Ann Arbor.
(image link: http://lookhomedesign.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/herb-garden.jpg)
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