Chelsea van Rijn
Chelsea van Rijn Sarah Harvey

The future needs to be so green

I LOVE immersing myself in nature.

When I moved into my current house it was all lawn.

Unfortunately it still pretty much is. I've got a vegetable patch, compost heap and lots of plans.

I've even got as far as making some gardens and ordering plants. I have yet to plant though.

It's coming, but unfortunately it all takes time. Something I seem to be lacking.

As my garden is a little lacking at the moment, I love it when I go for long drives and can surround myself with bushland and beautiful old homes with established gardens.

It pains me greatly when beautiful bushland is destroyed by plantless housing communities.

I have no problems with development and growth. I also realise that clearing bushland is a necessary part of this growth and development. What hurts me is the seeming lack of future green growth planning for these new communities.

Most new house blocks have a very small green space available.

Unfortunately, for new owners this green space can be hard to get flourishing due to the builders rubble soil.

Couple this with time poor, self-confessed brown thumbs, and the small green space suddenly becomes a huge paved outdoor area with no green leaf to be seen.

But that's okay, because these new housing communities take this into consideration and have beautifully landscaped public spaces with large established trees easily accessible by all? Don't they?

Did you know that in many areas of Australia (surrounding major cities) it can take over 30 minutes to walk to a green space?

How many of you would walk 30 minutes just to sit under some trees, or to take your shoes off and feel green grass? We are time poor remember.

So, suddenly, in a short space of time, our bushland has been turned into a concrete urban jungle with not much established, or young, green life to be seen.

But should we really care? Do we really need green spaces?

We all know in nature, fauna needs flora, and vice versa.

All our wildlife needs a food source, so if we want the birds and the bees, than we need to offer them homes and food. But do we really need it? Can't we just go on living in our concrete urban jungles and work in our plantless offices?

Put simply: No.

Did you know offices with no plants increase stress and negativity by up to 40%? Having indoor plants can help relieve stress and reduce negative mood states by up to 60%.

That's just inside. Imagine if you could surround yourself at home with plants. Imagine how happy we could all be.

The thing is, plants don't just make us happy. Well cared for public green spaces improve our fitness and property values.

Strategically placed plants can reduce energy bills and even help with our rates by reducing road repairs due to heat stress.

If we are going to use large areas of bushland in the name of progress, we need to step up and stop excuses. We need to progress, forward plan and educate (the brown thumbs) for a future of urban jungles tinged with green.

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