Rural areas have one big advantage over urban areas. The presence of natural plants covering the landscape. So, we have to be intentional in having plants to enjoy the urban environment.
Every land around Nairobi is turning out to be a concrete jungle – fast. Anyone with the dough is thinking of setting up an office block, fancy apartments or even malls. They are turning all the available land into built environment. Forgetting to save some for the green!
This unconscious trend of investing in real estate projects is costing us the luxury of creating a relaxing environment which can only be brought about by the preservation of plant life. These trees and plants also prevent us from bad air. Their shade from the harsh sun as well as the monotony of concrete.
Nairobi is turning out just like other cities when they were at its peak. With any little patch of land, we only think of construction. Ultimately, we’re having more buildings than quality air to breathe. However, it is time we ask ourselves whether this is sustainable.
Today, other cities have realised plants are very important in urban areas. Case in point is Tokyo and the Via Verde project in Mexico City which aims to turn about 1,000 highway pillars to gardens.
Those are some of the ambitious cities going greener to boost their quality of life. The time is now, we too as Kenyans should start taking measures to conserve and preserve our environment.
It is our generations’ mandate to share in the burden and have some plants growing in our living space. Imagine the carbon emissions footprint all of us would manage if we all urbanites had plants. There is even a country that claims to be carbon negative. Read on to see the potential benefits you could enjoy.
Why do you go to parks in your spare time? To rejuvenate your spirit by admiring the beauty in what nature offers. There’s the deeper feeling. The rejuvenation one feels when you get to see how nature has morphed into plant life.
Now imagine if we can get back to increasing the ratio of nature vs built environments. Not only will we be allowing mother Nature bring forth new life and abundance but we shall be adapting our world to the climate crisis.
As you drive through the countryside and passing through the green scenery whether tea or forest cover, you exclaim in your heart, beautiful. Why? The delicate arrangement of plant life as a choir singing a musical to your eyes. Sheer beauty.
So remember that waking up to or coming back from a busy day to your balcony or garden which has plants inspires liveliness in you.
Food/Renewed Local Economies
The sub-headline must have made you wonder how you can get food from your terracotta.
Going by the case of Tokyo: the Japanese city was not privileged to have a lot of arable land. So, the little they got they planted concrete structures. Now, they are fascinated about planting food crops on rooftops of their buildings. I imagine they have helipads of paddy rice. They’ve become specialists in rooftop gardening on the basis of insufficient land for farming.
You can replicate the Japan model on your own scale. This Christmas you or a friend could be going to the countryside. Get to pick some vegetable seedlings. Two potted plants of nyanya could easily cut your budget for groceries. Considering its organic farming, you’ll be making a big contribution to not using pesticides and fertilizers.
Besides us appreciating where the food we eat comes from, kids should learn how the food gets on the tables.
This quality of air by plants is quite the science. Plants use carbon dioxide to make their food. Our urban areas are the major contributors to global warming due to carbon emissions.
Like in the Mexico project concerned and committed urban areas are adding plants to help in cleaning the air.
In our case of Nairobi, the air is relatively clean. Still, we can make it cleaner by adding more trees and air purifying plants in our city. We encourage our readers to consider growing more plants that will lead to improved health and wellbeing.
Sense of Responsibility
By simply owning a plant and taking care of it regularly, one develops a sense of discipline.
Just like caring for pets, a plant needs to be taken care of in order for it to flourish. All one needs to do is to water it and give it sunshine. Giving manure from time to time, providing the necessary nutrients is also a plus!
When you look back at it, you see your efforts and those around you in protecting it. These little commitments turn out to become habits of caring for others and the environment
Now, imagine what your kid would learn from having a plant and protecting it. Your kid would learn the invaluable synergies you could easily incite.
Now, it is up to you to create the Nairobi you want. A Nairobi with more plant life. And a Nairobi the future generations must be proud of, a city whose air is cleaner, and more conscious about growing organic foods.