What gardening can teach us about sustainability


There are all sorts of new ways we are learning to live off and for nature instead of the other way around. For most of the history of the modern city, machines and pollution dominated and it was particularly difficult to live, especially in the inner city. It just wasn’t a very clean place to be and there were horror stories built up around all the people who either chose to live there or couldn’t afford to live anywhere else. But that’s all slowly changing thanks to nurseries, green nurseries, landscape design, garden ideas and the general green initiative, all of which are now springing up in cities across the country and even across the world. Small businesses are even getting in on the act as well, with the average nursery and nursery center donating to causes both far and wide. There are several of these initiatives being implemented on a mass scale and it’s not hard to get involved. Most of the time it just requires that you call and ask. But what are these plans and initiatives that are springing up everywhere like weeds? Pardon the pun. How did they get started and where might they be going in the next few decades? The answers to all of these questions are as exciting as they are ambitious. We’ve only just scratched the surface of what can be done with green landscaping, both in the country and the city. This is just the beginning of a truly green and urban revolution.

    Looking ahead to look behind
    Let’s do something a little different first. Whereas it would be easy to work backwards to front and look at where this movement came from to where it might be going, let’s look at it from the front first. What do green urban initiatives hope to do in the new few decades? Where will all of these green nurseries and food gardens end up by the third or fourth decade of the twenty first century? Very high up. Is the basic answer to that question. Very very high up. Artists and scientists envision cities full of hanging green baskets, growing fresh vegetables and fruit all over the tops and even all down the sides of buildings. These hanging gardens would actually make cities such as Portland, New York, Los Angeles, Austin and others much less reliant on the land around them than they are now. They’d become islands unto themselves and be able to produce for themselves in a capacity that’s pretty unthinkable right now. That’s not even the most exciting part either.
    The energy revolution as it could be
    Of course, there is a lot of talk in these nurseries and nursery initiatives about clean energy but there are a few types of renewable energy that are so new and bizarre that they haven’t gained widespread appeal yet. The first, and maybe most useful although honestly the grossest, is using human waste as fertilizer and feed for the hanging gardens. Not a bad plan, honestly, although it would take some convincing for the more squeamish. There’s a lot of potential there for energy and fuel when utilized correctly and it would certainly make cities cleaner. There are other alternatives as well. Energy through bacteria and algae is another potential market that has scientists incredibly excited. Algae can produce a lot of energy when they feed. Actually, the process of their converting sunlight into direct energy, called photosynthesis, is being studied in the hopes it can be replicated. If it can, then we can cover whole buildings in the stuff and power homes, businesses and vehicles entirely by using bio fuel. That’s not a bad deal at all, especially not when all of our cities are currently powered by a much less sustainable version of bio fuel. Wind, water and solar are also being considered, obviously, and, in tandem with these new and innovative ideas, they might just make for an entirely sustainable city that can feed and clean itself entirely on its own. And that, in a nutshell, is the goal of nurseries and the nursery revolution. Making a city that is natural, beautiful and capable of change.

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