For all of the complaints against millennials, there is one thing the infamous generation might be doing right: environmentalism. Whether it’s the political atmosphere, or blatant and pressing environmental threats, millennials are proving themselves to be a fairly environmentally conscious group.
Overall, millennials are making lifestyle choices that are more environmentally conscious. Some are based on personal views or economic reasons (such as driving cars), while others are founded in aesthetics and trends. In honor of Earth Day, Sunday, April 22, I wanted to bring attention to one of the biggest environmental crazes among millennials: horticulture, or gardening. From window boxes to mason jars, succulents and cacti to herbs and produce, millennials have been building their own gardens.
It all sounds challenging. After all, people make careers in the fields of agriculture and horticulture, so how is an average person supposed to pull this off? Millennials are proving not only that this is possible for the everyday individual, but are also showing that this growing trend has benefits for both gardeners and the environment.
When talking about the modern environment, it is impossible to leave out the topic of bees. Bee populations have been on the decline in the past several years, an alarming trend for our future. However, many millennials have taken the issue into consideration when gardening, strategically picking plants which provide ample amounts of pollen for as much of the year as possible.
This creates more sources of sustenance for bees, bolstering their population. Some plants you can grow yourself to support bee populations include oregano, thyme, chives, lavender and poppies, all of which can be found at home improvement and grocery stores such as Home Depot or Walmart.
Having a garden is also economically beneficial. Instead of having to shell out for produce and spices, millennials are growing the products themselves. This means more money in their pockets as well as some delicious meals in their stomachs.
Growing your own herbs, spices and produce also eliminates the production of plastic packaging used for store-bought goods. This trend of growing your own food has also boosted the market by buying produce from local sources rather than stores. This choice helps decrease emissions caused by the transportation of produce across land and sea.
Many people say that plants are too dirty and too much of a hassle, but millennials have an argument against that too: hydroponics. This practice forgoes the use of soil, instead replacing it with nutrient-rich solutions such as water.
This has made raising plants an overall more accessible and effective activity. Hydroponics eliminate the need to secure physical fertile land, in effect eliminating the threat of losing soil fertility, and allowing plants to be grown hypothetically everywhere.
I’m not saying that a windowsill of succulents makes someone an environmental crusader or that it heralds the dawn of a cleaner world, but it is movement in the right direction. We cannot continue our current way of life. If we want to preserve our planet, we have to adopt more sustainable methods.
This modern mini agricultural revolution- bringing farming back to our homes- is a step towards a more sustainable way of life. Although it was founded on aesthetics and popular culture, it is impossible to deny the benefits of this growing plant craze among millennials. And unlike other trends, this one has not faded away, which is a surprising change from the past. Plant aesthetics are still flourishing on social media posts along with the gardens in them and I hope they won’t be going anywhere any time soon.