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Apartment Gardens: Small Space, Big Benefits

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Gardening has been a well-loved practice for reducing stress, beautifying your surroundings, and growing your own food from scratch for the longest time. You may be wondering how this would be possible when you only have your cosy shoebox apartment in the city but trust me – no space is no problem anymore. Sprawling, luscious lawns filled with greenery and flowers in every colour is not always a possibility for all of us but what is definitely possible through urban gardening, is having a garden to call your own.

Whether you just want something green to brighten up the industrial vibe of your space, something living to connect you back to nature when everything else has been taken over by concrete and brick, or you are keen to start growing your own food to minimise cost and exposure to pesticides, anything is possible even on the smallest scale. Apartment gardens can be a one container on your balcony kind of deal or, if you have the option, a rooftop garden of seemingly endless eco-friendly project possibilities.

The only aspects to consider when planting your miniature masterpieces are sunlight (plants need sun, unless you’re happy to have potted dry sticks after a while) and space to grow with adequate drainage (plants also need water, however if you’re having to learn this fact by reading this article then perhaps take up crocheting or keep your zero maintenance pet rock, Steve, instead). Do not get me wrong, if you are just in this for the greenery aspect then by all means experiment with low-maintenance options like a friendly fern. That fern will require very little input from you to not only survive but to thrive, a little morning sunlight here and a spritz or two of water and it will be yours for life.

If your plans include organically grown tomatoes and lettuce and all the vegetable cousins in between, that you can do too – it will just require a little more effort and attention. You can plant just about anything at the right time of year and in the right climate and in a few short months you will be one step closer to the benefits of having an apartment garden. You can reduce your own carbon footprint, skip all the extra not so pleasant pesticide sprays AND you get to slide into conversation the fact that your entire salad is the veg of your own loins, so to speak. Another great addition to your apartment can be your own compost box that you can add eggshells, sawdust, potato peels and really any organic matter to and intermittently add this wonderful waste to your garden as a natural growth booster.

Plants, the miraculous little munchkins, can grow in just about anything so do not worry about fancy containers or boxes, you can reuse bottles and plastics or even an old bucket. Cut the top off your chosen container, punch a few holes in it for the drainage mentioned above and you have yourself a conduit for really anything to grow. Add in a good quality soil and some seeds and you are well on your way to achieving the farmer’s market stall of your dreams. Be mindful of how much heat or cold your new little buddy will be subjected to though, whilst growing plants might not be rocket science as such, it is still a science and requires a bit of research or a YouTube video here and there.

Good luck and get planting, your balcony will thank you later.

posted Jul 10 by Divya Bharti

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Nature has everything that is needed for sustenance of life, in abundance. The modern man, has, however ravaged nature and this has created havoc. The devastation comes to the fore when it comes to prominent problem of power crisis, that we all are heading to, globally. With an increasingly diminishing reserve of fossil fuel, fear has now made man to resort back to nature, for help. This time around, it is the powers of Sun. Powerful nations are backing the usage of Solar powered panels as well.

The fact is, the power of one hour of Sunlight, equals a year's power provided by any fossil fuel. Hence it is easy to understand why Solar power systems are the next big thing for the world at large. The advent of technology in this field has already made Solar panels. Efforts are being made to trap visible light too. If this breakthrough is achieved, it will revolutionize the power sector of the world. Currently, solar power is being trapped and utilized in various different ways. In turn, it is now proving to be baby steps towards benefiting the environment.

Here are a few ways how our environment benefits, when we make a switch to using Solar energy.

1. Omits Harmful Emission

It is common knowledge that fossil fuels emit harmful gases into the environment. This consequently affects the ozone layer with the release of carbon dioxide and methane gases. In contrast to these fuels, is the solar energy. Quoted as a green energy, it produces electricity and thermal heating by using Sun's renewal power but unlike the fossil fuels, solar power does not emit harmful gases into the environment. This is more than enough to indicate that we collectively need to transition to solar power usage if we want our environment safe and secured for the coming generations.

2. Stabilizes Climate Change

With the release of carbon dioxide into the air, global warming has been peaking year on year. Environmental scientists have been continuously warning us about the harmful effects of carbon emissions. Research has proven that the emissions have been harming the environment since the last 50 to 60 years in a row. This has impacted the climate in a big way leading the way to global warming. Climate has also changed the duration of its seasons. Using solar power, negates all of these complications for the simple reason that a green energy does not emit anything harmful.

3. Lessens Water Pollution

Solar panels generate power by the using photovoltaic material present in the cells. Solar panels not only produce electricity but are also capable of firing up thermal power stations. Till now, the same has been done using either biogas or geothermal power. These power stations need a huge amount of water for cooling the facility. With solar panels doing the same, there would be no water wastage since photovoltaic material does not need water to cool down. Coal powered plants, for instance use, 16 times more of water than a solar panel. These coal plants are also the sole contributors that release mercury into water. Solar power is the only alternative towards resolving this fatal problem. 

4. Lessens Taxing of Fossil Fuels

Solar power is abundant, renew and perennial. Unlike fossil fuel, which has been stored in the Earth's womb since thousands of years and is therefore non renewable, solar power does not deplete with time. An interesting fact about solar power is: An hour of Sunlight is equal to a year's supply of power provided by fossil fuel. In fact, had we been able to tap more of this light effectively we could have done away with the need for fossil fuels altogether. If usage of more solar power can be encouraged it will take the burden off the fossil fuels all together.

5. Conserves Life

The flora and the fauna have always maintained the balance of nature and the environment. With harmful emissions and water pollution due to fossil fuel wastage, the earth's flora and fauna has suffered extreme loss. Areas where nuclear or coal plants are set up become barren of anything else. Adapting to solar powered plants neutralizes all of these negative effects on the environment. Solar powered plants do not emit harmful gases nor do they produce toxic wastes.

6. Conserves Earth

Solar energy is a clean energy source. Non renewable sources are however damaging in many ways. The damage is done over a period of time and the one to suffer is our Earth, all together. Fossil fuel emissions contain a little sulphur. This chemical reacts with the atmosphere when it goes up along with the smoke. This results in rains being turned to acid. Acidic rains have ruined many forests and taken many animals. Solar powered plants emit no harmful gas. A solar powered are will never experience acid rain.

Solar energy is uncontaminated. As of now solar energy is extensively used for producing electricity among other vital uses too. Available and waiting to be utilized for a greater cause, that of saving the environment, from the onslaught of man-made pollution, solar energy is nature’s salvation today. The call is on us now, to bid the warning signs and get our act together. With this realization we are now desperately trying to make amends, with innovations in the solar power sector. Its way past time that we understood Green energy as the need of the nature today.

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