If you haven’t noticed, Detroit has recently become a bit of a hotspot for what’s known as “urban gardening.” And although the practice might not yield as much crop productivity as the average multi-million-acre farm, urban gardening does serve a purpose.
You see, the D has many vacant parking lots and fields, and GM donated 100 used shipping crates to placed in some of these lots for the use of urban gardening. Local residents have access to the free produce, and are encouraged to help with watering and maintenance. Together with volunteers, the project’s productivity has doubled since last year, yielding 2,400 vegetable and herb plants during this summer. Different partners help make all of this work, including auto supplier Ideal Group, the nonprofit Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision, and numerous schools and nearby youth groups.
“We enjoy connecting with people making a difference through sustainable means,” said GM waste-reduction manager John Bradburn. “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.”
Notably, GM could have sold the shipping crates, including the metal and plastic — but decided to donate them instead. The crates aren’t the only things used in the urban gardens; so are scraps from the Hamtramck Assembly Plant’s cafeteria, which are used as compost material. The effort also helps local soup kitchens like the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries and Cass Community Social Services, with 460 crates-worth having been donated from a mere 1.25 acre plot.
The GM Authority Take
Good stuff, GM. We know that this won’t be The General’s only attempt to green-up Detroit, either.
And here’s a fun fact: GM recycles 90 percent of its worldwide manufacturing waste and now has 106 landfill-free facilities.