Gardening, whether it be on your apartment balcony, in your office or outside your home; can be a rewarding experience. Many people assume that gardening itself is already eco-friendly, after all―you’re planting plants, aren’t you? Well, here are 5 tips on how to make your gardening experience more eco-friendly; and you’ll be amused that you never thought of them yourself.
5. Plant Some Trees
It sounds silly, doesn’t it? Many people don’t necessarily associate trees with ‘gardening,’ but really―the tree needs care, water and nutrients just like any other plant you may have in your garden. If you’ve been contemplating trees or you’ve never thought of planting trees, here are two things to consider. First, choose a tree that will bear fruit. This way, you can produce some of your own food.
Not interested in a fruit-bearing tree? Then look to buy a tree that will grow and produce shade. Shade can help reduce your energy bills during the summer weather by shielding the sunlight. You’ll run the air less and be able to open the windows more often.
Composting is a lot easier than most people think. Plus, a majority (if not all) of your leftover foods can be composted in along with your yard trimmings. Just be sure to research thoroughly, after all―there’s a little work involved and you cannot simply throw the waste into a box and hope for the best.
3. Rain Barrels
Watering your garden, your trees and your lawn can become costly. But, did you know that you could greatly reduce the amount of money you spend watering your lawn simply by using rain barrels?
When rain is predicted on the forecast, bring out your rain barrels and place them around the yard. Collect the rain and then use it to water your plants for a few days. Just be sure to store the water properly and not let the barrels sit, otherwise you’ll have a mosquito issue.
2. Native Plants
Sure, that bird of paradise looks great in the catalog―but does it belong in your state? If it doesn’t, don’t bother. While you may be able to care for it, that doesn’t mean it will be easy or eco-friendly. Choose plants that are native to your state or region, this helps to cut down on emissions that are produced while the plant is shipped to you. Plus, you won’t be contributing to the spread of unwanted pests (for example, here in Michigan we now have the pesky emerald ash borer).
1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Last, but not least: the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. It’s actually quite easy: you can reduce your carbon footprint by buying local plants and planting trees to produce shade. You can reuse yard clippings and leftover food in compost piles, which in turn can produce fertilizer for your yard and garden. Lastly, you can recycle old pots, jars and cups for container gardening.