Happy Earth Day!
Today is a day to reflect on all this beautiful planet offers us – and to create a plan for how to treat her better. There are lots of ways to be more eco-friendly right in your own backyard. Here are some of Scott’s top suggestions:
Create a sustainable design.
Lower your expectation of a “perfect” landscape. We are often shown seemingly perfect landscapes on television and in magazines, giving us unrealistic expectations. When designing your garden, choose native plants that are easy to maintain and require less resources to thrive. Fill in your garden beds with plants to force out weeds and use less mulch.
Beautiful yards do not need to be formal and well-groomed. Let your property run a little wild, with plants growing in rich compost, a lawn full of pollinator-friendly clover, and driveways that aren’t clear of every leaf or cut blade of grass. Have fun with your yard! Don’t set yourself up for failure by starting with an unrealistic design that will force you to spend all your time primping it and less time enjoying it.
Cut back on using power tools.
Try not to use electric and gas powered tools that take energy to run. Use a broom instead of gas powered blowers, which are one of the worst polluters. Also, if you create a barrier for your lawnmower to drive over between your lawn and hard edges, you won’t need to use a gas powered string trimmer. Many of the same beautiful results can be achieved with a better design and elbow grease!
Create a pollinator-friendly space.
Choose native plants for your garden. They will thrive with little help and are great for providing food and homes for native insects and animals. Let there be weeds in your lawn. Some weeds, like clover, can be great for bees. Click here to learn more ways to attract bees to your garden.
Stop using chemicals.
Pull your garden weeds by hand instead of using chemicals to spot treat. Grow your own food organically. Growing your own food cuts down on transportation pollution and gives you more nutrients, so it’s healthier for you and the environment! Use soil conditioners like warm castings, compost, and bone meal instead of chemical fertilizers.
Are you using chemicals to keep out garden pests? Click here for some suggestions for using natural remedies instead.
Use less water.
Mow your lawn to at least 3″ high. This will promote deeper roots, requiring less water. If possible, consider collecting rain water using a rain barrel. Click here for more suggestions for conserving water in your garden.
What are your favorite ways to be more sustainable? Share your suggestions in the comments.