by Vanessa Fransia
Edited by Theresia Butar Butar
Urban living can have its ups and downs, isn’t it/ Sure, it’s nice that we have access to supermarkets, public transport, highways, and even lots of entertainment. However, it does come with a cost, such as less green areas, less fresh air, unending traffic jams, and a constantly active lifestyle. Have you ever felt like you need to slow down, take a deep breath, and escape from all the busy routines? We’re really sure some of you often feel this!
Living the urban life doesn’t mean you can’t find the time for doing something new such as houseplanting or gardening. As nowadays the trends begin to shift and people grow more environmentally conscious and mindful of the nature around them, urban gardening—the practice of growing plants in an urban environment—has become one of the sustainable living practices that people do. It’s a healthy hobby with numerous benefits for yourself and especially for the environment!
Are you interested to start urban gardening? Here are some benefits and perhaps you’ll be more keen to start this new hobby!
1. Fresher and cleaner air
Did you know that according to Huffpost, the air in your home can be 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air? That’s a pretty shocking statistic since we always think that our home is a safe place and less polluted than the outside.
At home, pollutants can easily go indoors but have less chances of escaping. Aside from that, the air in your home can also become contaminated by pollutants from your stove, cleaning products, air fresheners, and personal care products. What’s worse than coming home after a long day of being exposed to outdoor pollution and finding the same poor air quality in our own home.
That’s where urban gardening plays a key role. Planting some greens in your house as natural as the air-detoxers can help absorb harmful toxins from the air and release balancing chemicals into the air. At the same time, having plants around keeps your house humid, and cleaning your respiratory system!
If detoxing the air in your home is your primary goal in urban gardening, you might choose these types of plants: aloe vera, spider plant, and chrysanthemum.
2. Fitter and healthier body
How often do you intentionally exercise or move your body around? When you’re living the urban lifestyle, we’re guessing the answer is not very much. We can be glued on our seat with our eyes on our computer most of the hours of the day. We drive everywhere, even to the nearby convenience stores that are still in walking distance. As a result, we do not get enough exercise.
When you’re doing urban gardening, you’re moving your body around without even realizing it! You dig, move some soils, water the plants, and arrange your beautiful pots in different places around your home. Although it doesn’t feel like much, if you make it into a habit, you’ll move more than before. Aside from that, research from Clinical Medicine journal in London has also shown that gardening reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. Merely looking at greens is beneficial for your heart activity, muscles, and brain.
If you’re looking for greenhouse plants to improve your health, here are some options for you: spider plant, Japanese sago palm, and heart-leaf philodendron.
3. Happier and calmer mood
Not only does your body benefit from urban gardening, your mental health does too! Many researchers have agreed that having plants around makes us feel more relaxed and calm, uplifting our moods on any stressful day. It’s the perfect antidote after facing all the exhausting demands from urban life.
Even cutting, chopping, and digging in gardening can replace your energy that is reduced when having a bad day at work. According to Capital Gardens, gardening is a great way to vent out your negative emotions in a positive way. It also takes your mind off the stresses you have on that day! Or, if you’re having a lot on your plate to worry about, such as bills, deadlines, and other troubles, concentrating on the gardening activity itself gives your mind the break it deserves. Urban gardening helps us live in the moment, focusing on what’s right in front of us for a while instead of being overwhelmed with the uncertain future.
You can thank the vibrant color and soothing scent of plants. Simply enjoying the colors and textures of your house plants, can send signals to your brains it’s ‘unwinding’ time, resulting in relaxful vibes throughout your mind. You will feel a sense of calmness, tranquility, and increase in overall happiness. It’s more than just a new hobby in your spare time, but also a therapeutic activity for everyone in need of refreshment. Growing plants at home is also proven to reduce stress and anxiety and improve sleep quality.
4. Kinder and gentler heart
Who would’ve thought plants can make us a more compassionate and mindful person? stated by Doing Good Together Organization, growing your own plants at home gives a sense of responsibility and empathy, as we have something to look after and take care of.
This newfound sense of compassion grows as we build our relationship with others as well, and tackles feelings of loneliness or seclusion. At the same time, it nurtures a feeling of love for the environment and nature, and gives a sense of belonging to the earth we live in. Of course, any kind of plant of your choice can help you exercise your compassion by caring for it in the best way that you can.
Benefits for The Greater Good
As we mentioned before, urban gardening is not only beneficial for you personally, but also for the greater good, more specifically the environment and the economy. It’s clear that the environment will benefit from our urban gardening habits as air quality improves and we can play our own part in giving back to nature. Aside from that, urban gardening also empowers local farmers.
So, after reading these benefits for both the world and yourself, are you ready to start your own urban garden? In the end, urban gardening is a relaxing, mindful activity to try out at home, which benefits yourself and the planet we live in. Hope these benefits can encourage you to start your urban gardening routine!
#WriteatKanva writer: Vanessa Fransia
Vanessa is a passionate writer that lives in Tangerang and loves anything about green/sustainable living. She has been working as a content writer for over 2 years for various brands from F & B, health and wellness, and B2B. She enjoys writing blogs, fiction, and poetry the most. She can be found on social media under the username @vfransia.
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