Oil spills and their impact on our planet’s ecology might seem faraway and remote, but one way of helping prevent them lies closer than you might think. This article, by earth-friendly gardening writer John Walker, won the Garden Media Guild Environmental Award 2010.
The pale and swirling oil slick from the Deepwater Horizon, which is polluting the Gulf of Mexico, captured by a satellite in late May 2010. The oil smooths the ocean surface, making the sun’s reflection brighter than the surrounding water. The bird’s-foot-like land extending into the sea is the tip of the Mississippi Delta. Image: NASA.
Here’s a question for you: what does the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (still underway as I write this*) have to do with your garden? And while you’re pondering that, try this: how much of the materials, equipment and gadgetry that make your kitchen gardening possible is made from a dark liquid just like that gushing from 1,500m (5,000ft) down on the ocean floor? Here’s a clue to get you started, whether you’re of an organic disposition or not: rather a lot.