This week was one of my favorite holidays, Earth Day. Although I think every day is Earth Day, I do love all of the events in April that celebrate and promote the protection of our home. I attended an Earth Day event in Danville to represent ASPI and all of the great programs we offer which advocate sustainability and simple living through our focus areas: food systems, ecosystems, energy, and culture.
Telling the community about our programs, including what we do with Grow Appalachia, is a reminder to me that this program is more than just growing healthy food at a low cost in an enjoyable way. Grow Appalachia also supports a way of growing food in an environmentally responsible manner. Here are just some of the environmental benefits:
Grow Appalachia is organic. This means that no synthetic pesticides or fertilizers are used. Pesticides contain toxins that are dangerous to human and environmental health. Remember DDT? It almost made the bald eagle go extinct. Pests can also become resistant to pesticides , making your pest problem even worse. Synthetic fertilizers can leach nutrients into the environment and contribute to dead zones where little life can grow.
Grow Appalachia is local. No fossil fuels are needed to walk to and from your garden, unlike the food at the grocery store which has to travel miles and miles powered by fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are problematic for a variety of reasons, one of them being that fossil fuel combustion releases greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change.
I could go into more detail, but this is just a quick summary of the environmental benefits of food systems like the ones that Grow Appalachia supports. I love that I work with an organization that not only promotes healthy eating and communities but also a healthy environment. The earth gives us everything, so we should also reciprocate and give it the love and protection it needs. Happy Earth Day!
Check out that edible arrangement I made from our garden! It has kale, lettuce, spinach, and mint.