An incredible step was taken by General Motors towards creating awareness on urban gardening and the importance of trees in our lives. The company is turning 100 steel crates which are used mainly for shipping engines, into a wonderful raised urban garden, in the many vacant parking lots located around Detroit. That is just one great step they have taken to save the earth!
GM endeavors to find effective alternative uses for its different byproducts which help in recycling and reduction of industrial wastes which pollute our environment. This is not the only step taken by the company; GM recycles almost 90% of its manufacturing waste. It has more than 106 landfill-free facilities. Initiatives of GM to help save the earth do not end here!
Urban Gardening efforts do not end here and goes much beyond their unique urban gardens. GM repurposed and also donated 85 scrap Chevrolet volt battery covers from its battery lab with the aim of using these as flower planters, to the famous nonprofit Mary McLeod Bethune Association, which is committed to help at risk-youth. The covers are being customized with the aim of beautifying Detroit and using them in the many bus stops.
The company also contributes towards Detroit Dirt Compost recipe with food scraps from the Hamtramck Assembly, which is also the supplier of hold piles and used pallets for enriching the soil in gardens.
Urban Gardening Initiative and Role Of Community Members
Urban gardening, involving community members has always been the main focus of GM. John Bradburn. The GM waste reduction manager says – “We enjoy connecting with people making a difference through sustainable means. These urban garden initiatives are proof that many items can have a higher purpose after their original use, whether it’s transforming a once-vacant parking lot or the creative reuse of manufacturing packaging.” Urban gardening will not be possible if there is no cooperation from the community members and until they realize the importance of trees, growing healthy vegetables and reducing pollutions.
Community members have an important role in urban gardening. Residents can pick free produce and are encouraged to participate in the maintenance and watering jobs. With such cooperation and help from the residents and with the help from volunteers, the plantings have nearly doubled in the past year. More than 2400 vegetables have been produced this year, along with several herb plants. Residents happily take part in this gardening, realizing the importance and health benefits of healthy produce and the immediate necessity to save the earth and reduce the pollution levels.
The immense success of Urban Gardening by GM leads to 460 crate donations to Buckets of Rain. This is a popular initiative which helps in supporting soup kitchens. With the rolling of this program, several urban spaces have been transformed into 1.25 acres of urban gardens, which are housed in the many shipping crates and recycled pallets. This initiative will help in feeding hundreds of underprivileged members of the community.
Cindy Pasky, who chairs Downtown Detroit Partnership and is the CEO and President of Strategic Staffing Solutions, explains “This project, which brings fresh food to the tables of many under privileged families, is also showing our young people how to take responsibility and helping beautify some of our city’s more challenging urban spaces.” “Projects like this show how engaged and committed the business community is to Detroit’s transformation and to improving the quality of life of its residents”.
With so much efforts and great cooperation from residents, the initiative of GM is certainly going to be a great success.