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Reduce Stress - Get Gardening

Reduce Stress - Get Gardening
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REDUCE STRESS - GET GARDENING

Looking for the latest trend to relieve the stresses of everyday life? It's green, it's healthy and it's free - it's your garden.

Following on from a study by researchers at the University of Loughborough, a new UK survey1 by WRAP's (the Waste & Resources Action Programme) Compost Awareness Programme shows that gardening and helping the environment are two of the top ways to beat stress and get that feel-good factor.

Scientists at Loughborough found gardening to have a positive effect on the physical and emotional health of people, while environmental psychologists, carrying out a similar study at the University of California, found gardening reduces stress more effectively than many other methods of relaxation.

And now, according to WRAP, over 70 per cent of people agree that going out into the garden helps them to relax and unwind and that being in the fresh air makes them feel healthier.

Celebrity gardener Charlie Dimmock is a keen supporter of the philosophy. She says: I have always found gardening to be a great escape from the stresses and strains of everyday life. I enjoy it so much I can throw myself into what I'm doing and forget about everything else. The exercise you get from weeding and digging is also great for your mind and body. 

 
The WRAP survey also revealed that more than half (55 per cent) of us agree that gardening helps us value the environment and sustain nature and local wildlife, with more than a third saying that helping the environment makes them feel good about themselves.

Middle aged men and women (45-54) are the most likely to see the garden as a place to get away from everyday stress (81 per cent), and almost three out of five gardeners (59%) see the garden as a good place to think.

Nearly half (49 per cent) of all respondents feel that gardening is very therapeutic and calming and helps them get rid of stress and tension, while more than two fifths (43 per cent) see gardening, digging, mowing and weeding as a good way of keeping fit.

When it comes to being environmentally friendly in the garden, allotment growers lead the way. They are more than twice as likely (70 per cent) to buy reduced peat or peat-free compost, and nearly twice as many (64 per cent) make their own compost, compared to just over a quarter (27 per cent) and just over a third (35 per cent) of average gardeners respectively.

It's also good news that a number of gardeners are now recycling their garden waste through council schemes (42 per cent) and home composting (35 per cent).

But although nearly half (47 per cent) of gardeners try to be as environmentally friendly as they can, further knowledge of how to be more environmentally friendly in the garden could potentially change the habits of nearly a quarter more (23 per cent).

Anne O'Brien, Head of Organics at WRAP, says: Gardens are the ideal place to help the environment whether it be recycling garden waste, using environmentally friendly products or planting shrubs and flowers that attract wildlife.

People don't have to make drastic changes to make a start. Simply using composts labelled reduced-peat or peat-free “that contain recycled materials can make a real difference.

Top tips to be more environmentally friendly in the garden:
*  choose composts labelled reduced peat or peat-free, which contain recycled materials they do a good job and give top quality results;
*  recycle garden waste either home compost or separate out garden waste and use a council composting/collection service; 
*  put up bird feeders to attract birds and wildlife into the garden; 
*  plant shrubs and flowers that attract butterflies or other wildlife and 
*  choose furniture for your garden made from recycled materials, e.g. tables and chairs made from recycled plastic.

To find out more information visit
www.recyclenow.com and click on the 'In your Garden' section.

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