Friday, July 18, 2008

10 Ways to help the environment with your garden

  1. Use Solar Lighting. Solar lights are wonderful because they don’t have any emissions, and so don’t contribute at all to global warming. They also use solar lighting – a renewable resource!

  2. Keep all power tools properly maintained in order to keep them running efficiently. Inspecting and cleaning your power tools regularly will help them to run the best that they can for the longest period of time.

  3. When planning your garden, be sure to include trees and shrubs. When placed correctly, these can reduce the heating and cooling costs for your house. Plant deciduous trees in areas that will shade your windows in the summer, but will let in sunlight during the winter, and plant trees and shrubs to help block wind.

  4. Save Water. I recently posted a list of 15 ways to conserve water in your yard and garden.

  5. Compost. You can compost food scraps, and garden waste that would otherwise go to landfills. This not only reduces your garbage, but it also will give you material to help your garden grow healthier.

  6. Grow your own vegetables. This will help to reduces carbon from fertilizers, and transportation.

  7. Use a push mower. As push mowers are completely manually powered, using one of these will eliminate the gas or electricity you use when mowing your lawn.

  8. Think about an alternative lawn. Grass is one of the least water efficient plants you can include in your yard. Lawns have to be watered much more often than other plants, and you have to use a lawn mower frequently to keep up the appearance of a well-kept yard. Think about clover, ornamental grasses, creeping thymes or moss.

  9. Prevent Runoff and Erosion. Runoff can carry harmful chemicals, pesticides and excessive amounts of phosphorus and nitrogen into waterways, and erosion removes the top soil and can clog waterways with it. Prevent this from happening by using plants that cover the entire ground surface.

  10. Eliminate the harmful chemicals you use in your lawn/garden. Any chemicals you use to get rid of weeds, eliminate pests or help plants grow can have adverse reactions to other plants or animals that come into contact with it. Getting rid of weeds using vinegar, hot water or just pulling up the weeds will work better in the long run than chemicals; There are many organic pesticides that you can either buy or make at home; to help plants grow, try using compost or compost tea.

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