I Can Grow in a changing climate

Use plants to support a campaign about climate change

The Earth’s climate is getting warmer, with temperatures increasing faster than ever before. This has led to a greater number of extreme weather events such as flooding and droughts, which drastically affect life on Earth. Ecosystems are not able to keep up with the rate of change. Many parts of the world are becoming too warm for native plant species, which cannot adapt fast enough to survive.

But don’t panic, many plants can also help to tackle climate change, and there is time to start making a difference.

What can you do?

If your class or group is interested in growing to help combat climate change as part of their campaign, here are a few suggestions of what they could do:

  • Reduce, reuse and recycle anything you can when gardening
  • Grow climbers to help insulate buildings in winter and keep them cooler in the summer
  • Create a green roof to reduce the risk of flooding and cool the air
  • Choose the right plant for the right place by taking the environmental conditions into consideration, i.e. plant drought-resistant plants in dry areas
  • Install a rainwater butt to a downpipe or greenhouse to provide extra water for your garden
  • Add a mulch to your beds to reduce evaporation and suppress weeds
  • Plant a rain garden, which can receive run-off from roofs and other hard surfaces. Fill it with plants that can stand waterlogging for up to 48 hours at a time
  • Reuse domestic wastewater (known as ‘grey water’) in the garden. This may be from the kitchen, the washing machine or baths, basins and showers.

Group discussion

Use these discussion points to get your group thinking about growing in a changing climate:

Beginner questions:

  • What is a climate? In what way is the climate in the UK different compared with other parts of the world?
  • What is changing in our climate and how does this affect plants and animals?

More advanced questions:

  • How is climate change affecting people’s lives around the world?
  • What plants could be beneficial in the fight against climate change and why?

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Inspiration for your campaign

Here are some of our favourite climate-themed resources to help your group grow:

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