Why local orchards matter
Using locally grown produce is definitely better for the environment and the local economy. An apple that has been grown organically down the road will be fresher than one that has been transported from half way around the world!
It has been estimated that a kilo of apples imported from New Zealand will be responsible for producing its own weight in carbon dioxide emissions by the time it reaches us, so fewer food miles means less impact on climate change!
Experts predict that we could soon be facing a global food shortage due to the twin crises of climate change and the end of the era of cheap fossil fuels. So this is the time to focus on local food production and creating orchards in your local community as a great start!
The small picture = local benefits
There are plenty of benefits in setting up orchards to the local environment including:
- The orchards will provide specialist habitats for a variety of plants, insects, birds and animals.
- Trees contribute to combating local environmental problems including assisting in absorbing surface storm water run off and reducing flooding or stabilising land.
- Trees reduce air pollution through filtration by dry deposition and reducing the urban heat island effect by shading land and buildings and cooling through evaporation. This reduces unhealthy ozone levels and the amount of energy used in cooling buildings.
- Trees add value to the urban area - street and park trees are known to increase the desirability of living in a neighbourhood.
Throughout this project, the YMCA hope to establish a young people's environmental forum that will play a part in selecting YMCA sites for inclusion in the project and also take a role in influencing environmental decisions such as YMCA branches adopting ethical purchase policies of tree products.
......and the bigger picture - reducing carbon emissions worldwide. Learn more here...