According to various research and scientific studies, no worldly creature can ever survive without water, that includes humans, animals, and plants. In fact, nothing survives without the physical water that quenches our thirst and nourishes our body. But over the last few centuries, numerous human activities have polluted the environment and, in the process, affected our supply of physical water.
Therefore, in my quest for happiness, I decided to return my life and livelihood to when human beings had everything unpolluted, and the world was a happy and stress-free place to live. After all, we have arrogantly exploited our resources for financial gains and spoiled our planet in the process. Therefore, in my pursuit of happiness through gardening for sustainable living, I realised that being self-sufficient has numerous benefits.
Why Pursue Happiness Through Gardening?
1. Enjoy Highly Nutritious Organic Veggie and Fruits
Being self-sufficient basically means playing my part in reducing the world’s carbon footprint. So other than installing solar panels on my home to power all the electronics in the house, I also started consuming fresh food directly from my garden. And this means that I am always nourished with fresh veggies and fruits every day that have not been transported from different parts of the world to the local stores. And instead of purchasing excess fruits and storing them in my refrigerator, I always harvest what I need for the day.
Plus, veggies and fruits lose about 30% of their nutritional levels three days after being harvested. And most grocery stores keep them refrigerated in their huge freezers. Therefore, organically planted veggies are more nutritious and delicious. According to eco peanut, organic farming has helped provide highly nutritious and non-toxic meals for many families and also helped them cleanse their bodies. This means less stress, no diseases, and an energetic body that is always happy to help make the world a better place.
2. Less Stress
Connecting with nature every day can help improve your wellbeing and lower stress. After all, our brains can recognise the beauty of nature and help you relax. So instead of having to travel to the park every day just to connect with nature, you can create a small heaven in your backyard and enjoy all the benefits of having a safe environment to relax after a stressful day and meditate. Your small garden can help lower your heart rate, blood pressure and, in the process, reduces your stress level. This means we become more alert and our happiness, moods, and emotions enhanced.
3. Encourages a Healthier Lifestyle
The Japanese introduced the phrase “Shinrin-yoku” in the 1980s, which means “forest bathing” to help encourage their population to start having a healthier lifestyle by making regular walks in designated forests. The practice of disconnecting from our busy lives and immersing ourselves in nature for brief periods has numerous therapeutic benefits.
And even pottering in your backyard has numerous proven benefits. Not only will you burn some calories, which is ideal for your general health, but you will also be able to manage all the effects of stress in your life. A study conducted confirmed that gardening could lower your cortisol levels. The study included two groups, with the first one asked to work in the garden for 30 minutes while the other group rested.
In Toronto, Canada, the David Suzuki foundation started encouraging Canadians to plant native plants all over the city in 2013. Our backyard gardens can also help us eat healthily; in fact, the Climate Victory Garden campaign by Green America is promoting the idea of being self-sufficient as a means of fighting climatic changes and eating well.
4. Fight Climatic Changes
When it comes to farming, how we plant our crops and the crops we select can have an impact on the climate. Planting native crops that thrive without pesticides and fungicides can help protect our climate. By going native and avoiding harsh chemicals, we will end up causing less harm to the environment and create a better habitat for the natural pollinators (bees and butterflies) and other creatures.
Sustainable living means recycling all the natural wastes in your home to create organic fertiliser, which is safe for plants and the environment. Organic fertiliser will make the soil richer and the produce more delicious and healthier. Composting is ideal for both sustainable living and organic gardening. When you compost all the biodegradable waste at home, you get even closer to living a zero-waste life.
5. Feel Happier
Most importantly, nature can make anyone happy, and there is no scientific reason that can prove that nature can’t make us feel euphoric. Numerous studies suggest that inhaling a certain bacteria known as Mycobacterium vaccae that lives in the soil increases our serotonin levels and reduces anxiety. In fact, the benefits of living near green spaces have been well-documented. Research conducted by Kuo Frances confirmed that the individuals living in the poor areas near the green spaces of Chicago were calmer and had a stronger connection to their neighbours.
6. Lower Your Utility Bills
Organic farming includes irrigating the garden using rainwater even in summer; therefore, you have to be ready to harvest rainwater to use during the dry seasons. Another benefit of sustainable living is lowering your utility bills by going off the grid watering your plants with rainwater.
Rainwater is not chlorinated; therefore, it is safe for human usage and for plants if filtered properly and stored correctly. In fact, our plants thrive when irrigated using rainwater, and your lawn can remain green all summer long. Rainwater can also keep your food production high all year long. And most people returning some cash back into their pockets every month reduces their stress levels and makes them happier.
Gardening for sustainable living has numerous environmental and health benefits. Organic farming can change your life for the better by making you healthier, happier, and also become your means of dealing with stress. After all, the main purpose of being alive is enjoying it and improving the environment in the process. So why don’t you try pursuing happiness through gardening?