A growing number of people are choosing a sustainable lifestyle these days. They realize that it’s not only a temporary trend but something absolutely necessary if we want to preserve our planet, stay healthy and save some money in the long run. They take different ways to achieve it. People change their everyday life as a whole and in detail – from buying low-pressure showerheads and reusable bottles to solar panels and solar pond aerators. Yes, even something as traditional as gardening has been going through changes. You could think that since gardeners are working so close to nature, it’s a very green hobby, but unfortunately, it’s not always the case. Luckily, there are some easy ways to make your garden more sustainable and organic, hence less harmful for the environment, you and your family.
Make your own compost
The right compost can bring a lot to your garden; it feeds your plants, keeps them hydrated and helps to reduces weeds. Also, it’s easy to make it by yourself completely for free – you will be using everything you already have, so it’s a great way to minimize garbage and household wastes and to stop throwing out your food. The best compost you can get comes from mixing carbon- (leaves, garden trimmings) and nitrogen-rich (kitchen scraps) organic waste with soil and water. It doesn’t have to be perfect – any amount will be beneficial as long as you don’t add something that can be toxic (e.g. animal droppings, skins, bones, etc.). The list of materials you shouldn’t compost is easy to access online. If your compost smells bad, try adding some more dry carbon materials (e.g. leaves) and mixing it regularly; good compost shouldn’t smell. Then you can spread it around your plants or mix it with the soil.
Don’t use pesticides
Pests are a much bigger problem for gardens that aren’t so diversified; if you have many different types of plants, most pests won’t feed on them. Sometimes pests appear due to some other problems that your plants may be struggling with. That’s why you should start by checking if they are getting what they need, including enough moisture, light, water, nutrients, etc. It’s best to have pests’ natural predators in your garden, so many gardeners decide on installing a pond or other water body to welcome frogs, toads, birds or lizards into their backyard. You should consider introducing some beneficial insects, if they’re not there already, especially ladybugs, that are extremely helpful. You can buy them, or simply go hunting, but if you want them to stick around, you have to create a welcoming environment. Plants with blossoms (e.g. dill), row covers or nets would also do the trick as they attract them. To fight pests, you may use hot pepper sprays, garlic or insecticidal soaps – all-natural and organic. Avoid toxic chemicals at all costs; they not only harm your plants, but they can get to your food and water, therefore become dangerous to you and your family.
Rain is the most natural source of water for plants – and not only when it’s raining and they’re getting it directly. It’s a great idea to introduce a storage system on your property and store rainwater for later. You may not know that the water you have in your tap is not all clear – it’s modified so that it can be drunk by people, but it doesn’t mean it’s perfect for plants. Rainwater is natural and free, so why shouldn’t you make use of it? In order to do it, consider installing decorative rain chains (they’re useful and they look good, and you can easily make them yourself), swales, French drains or rain barrels. You will save a lot of money on water and you will do good by your greens – Mother Nature can take care of herself and she will be thankful if you do it naturally as well.
Get rid of gas-powered lawnmower
In order to reduce your carbon footprint, take care of yourself, your family, garden and our planet, you should consider greener options in many aspects of your life. You probably don’t think much about your lawnmower, but you ought to if you own a gas-powered one – according to the recent research, an hour of its work equals gas emission of 45 miles of car drive. Think about switching to an electric one or even a manual – it will be better for the environment and for you, as it will give you an opportunity to exercise in the fresh air.
Going green is an important decision that everyone should come to and should do it as soon as possible. Climate change is not a myth, nor is it a joke – treat Mother Nature right and she will certainly return a favor.