Green Trends in Europe and the U.S.

Ah, rain. Hard on the flowers that are blooming but wonderful anyway. Last year's record drought makes late April rain all the more welcome this year.

Take a little break from working outside. Walking or driving on the soil will compact it and eliminate the air pockets needed for healthy plant roots.

Photo: Ipheon (Spring Starflowers) blooming.

A German relative explained to me that when new residents move into her town, they are invited to join in one of the many community gardens. It's a welcoming gesture to express the community's openness to new families.

In Britain, the popularity of growing in community gardens has left the country without any more garden allotments to share. During World War II, 330,000 allotments were used by patriotic citizens to grow vegetables. The trend moved away from grow-your-own for decades, leaving the land to weeds. but now all are taken again.
The Royal Horticultural Society reported that vegetable seed sales have increased by just over 30-percent and the sale of potato starts is up over 60-percent from last year.
The reasons cited include: A desire to be less dependent on giant food producers and imported food in particular; a concern about the safety of commercially available produce; and, for young couples, an attraction to the lifestyle benefits of gardening.
Keeping chickens for fresh eggs, growing culinary herbs and bee keeping are part the the trend in Britain, too. (,,2052949,00.html)

In other green news, Home Depot, the home improvement big-box store chain, is labeling 2,500 products to help customers select ones that could be beneficial to the environment.
Called Eco Options, the products include natural insect repellents, cellulose insulation, organic plant foods in biodegradable containers, energy efficient light bulbs and natural resource saving appliances. The Home Depot website says, "Eco Options products fall into one of five categories: clean air, water conservation, energy efficiency, healthy home and sustainable forestry."

Making it easier for consumers to choose green options was not a response to an overwhelming demand from the public but was a management decision . Building environmental consciousness in the next generation of home owners is a good citizen goal for the company.


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