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5 Fun Ways You Can Help the Environment

Volunteer activities can make Earth greener

3. Join a community garden

You'll grow both food and friendships at a community garden, where members join in the planting, tending and harvesting of fruits and vegetables. Small produce patches help the environment by greening neighborhoods, providing locally harvested food and cultivating respect for the planet.

This must be why the movement is growing: More than 18,000 community gardens exist in the nation, according to the National Recreation and Parks Association.

While you dig and water, you may have the side benefit of providing nutrition for needy people, as many gardens donate their bounties to food banks. If your area doesn't have a community garden, consider starting one with the help of AARP's Create the Good community-garden startup toolkit.

Time: A few hours to join an existing garden. Numerous days (spread out in manageable chunks) to start a garden.

Consider this: If kneeling is painful for you, request gardening tasks that can be performed standing.

Gear: Garden gloves are a must. Also bring a sun hat, sunscreen, water and snacks. Ask whether you should bring your own gardening tools.

Contact: American Community Garden Association, 877-275-2242

Next: Clean a stream »

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