By Khaled Fawal
There is an essential relationship between man and land, one that maintains the equilibrium in nature. The turn of the millennium is now not only defined by the emergence of technology, but by the millions of people around the world fighting for our planet’s sustainability as well. Our ongoing pursuit of industrial excellence has resulted in the dangerous depletion of Earth’s natural resources. My family and I have always been avid supporters of this movement, especially when it comes to food. However, like most people, some of our daily practices also have a negative impact on the environment. This essay will elaborate on how my family contributes to the planet’s sustainability through a local community garden, and how our frequent visits to fast food restaurants do the complete opposite.
For almost a decade, my mother has been a passionate gardener, mainly due to the environmental and emotional benefits such a practice can provide. Two years ago, she moved away from the stereotypical polished gardens to tackle sustainable gardening. According to Oregon State University, a sustainable garden is “one that requires only slightly more planning than conventional gardening. A sustainable garden is one that thrives with minimal inputs of labor, water, fertilizer and pesticides”. Several conversations with enthusiastic local activists led to an extensive refinement of her perception of the perfect garden. She no longer longed for the lush green lawn, or the faultless vegetable garden that harbors fruits and vegetables immune to any sort of imperfection. It was a leap forward in t her environmental ambitions, and the reduction of artificial input became a priority. In addition, she began using plants that are accommodated by the local environment; such plants are much less wedded to the inevitable use of chemical fertilizers, insecticides or other products that are detrimental to the environment. Another essential component of sustainable gardening my mother abides by is composting. Garden and kitchen waste are all turned into valuable nutrients for her garden. In the end, these various procedures have produced a much healthier garden, and a breakthrough in her environmental aspirations.
Being a single mother, fast food restaurants have always been an option, despite the obvious health risks. According to the Food Empowerment Project, tremendously energy intensive to create the food, ridiculous packaging waste in the wrappers, bags and containers, and CO2 emissions at drive-throughs all have a direct impact on our environment. The whole chain of production is harmful to our planet’s well-being. Practically all the meat that is provided to fast food restaurants is produced at factory farms, which epitomize global warming. Fast food restaurants are also renowned for their overuse of packaging. Not only do they contaminate our water, but their production is also accountable for deforestation and pollution.
In conclusion, my family and I do the best we can to maintain the balance between man and nature. However, several difficult circumstances sometimes force us to do things that are only detrimental to our environmental aspirations. If everyone tried to do their part, the future would only be brighter.