Essential Benefits of Rainwater Harvesting
Fresh water is essential for everyday life. We need it in all aspects of life from drinking to cooking to bathing to cleaning.
Trees play a crucial role in maintaining the balance in our ecosystem. Urbanization has been the biggest enemy of trees. We have seen trees felled for raising buildings, bridges, metro lines, homes and industries. While urban development may be essential for our economy, it is also important to re-green our cities. The newest way in which we can participate as a community to re-green our cities is through collectively throwing bombs – not the kind that destroy cities, but the kind of seed bombs which will bring back our green cover. Seed bombs are a novel way to raise awareness about the need to protect our environment, while also bringing the community together to participate in the process.
A Seed Bomb is a mixture of embedding seeds in an organic base and drying them in the form of balls. These balls can then be thrown around in fertile soil, or planted in fertile soil. They will then grow into trees over time. The rainy season is the best time to undertake this process, and there has been more than 50% success rate when seeds have been planted in this manner. The major reason is that small animals, birds and insects do not eat the seeds that are mixed and planted in this manner.
The concept of the seed bomb came up in the 1970s in what is today known as the guerrilla gardening movement and helped re-green a large number of urban spaces. Generally, the chosen plants are hardy plants that will not need extra maintenance and can grow on their own.
Seed Bombs in urban spaces are generally planted in abandoned lots of land, or in spaces around the residential or commercial buildings. Plants do have the power to break through and grow in the most unlikely spaces when left to their own devices. Seed bombs help us grow essential trees in spaces that have lost their green cover. This is the best manner in which urban re-greening can be undertaken.
In cities like Bengaluru, rapid urbanization has caused the city to lose its green cover at an alarming rate. This has had an adverse effect on the city's climatic conditions and pollution levels. In 30 years of urbanization, the city that prided itself on its variety of trees has lost a significant number of them. The dense vegetation cover of Bengaluru has reduced to a mere 15% as of 2012, as per sources from CES (IISc, Bengaluru). The decline in vegetation has also resulted in a steep decline in water sources. Seed Bombs are the best ways to re-green, as it requires community participation and isn't dependent on government initiatives. Replanting trees is not a difficult process - we only need the will of the community.
Bengaluru will require its green cover to continue to grow in order to be livable for future generations. Trees are an essential part of our holistic growth, and if we fail to see this we run the risk of losing our beautiful cities in the near future.
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