Young people who spend time outdoors and forge a connection with the natural world are more likely to become environmentally-aware adults. But engaging with plants and the natural world can play an important part in promoting sustainable lifestyles for people of all ages. It’s all too easy to feel that climate change is something that’s happening elsewhere, but plant collections throughout the UK have stories to tell of how plants here are being affected right now.
Plant-based learning can offer compelling evidence of the impact of climate change and once people are aware of the damage being done, they are more likely to take personal action to address it. Visitors to botanic gardens, arboreta and other environmental centres can also learn from the sustainable practices used by staff and volunteers. Learning at first-hand about topics such as drought-tolerant plants, composting or responsibly-sourced timber can inspire people to change their behaviour in their homes, gardens, communities and workplaces.
Composting at the Eden Project
© Chris Saville / Apex