The fiercely trimmed lawns and clipped hedges of the 1950s have given way to a new interpretation of the garden as an area for self-expression. Anything goes in the garden nowadays – from the classical decorations to modern, minimalist stylish accessories.
When it comes to creating the most ecofriendly garden possible, you’ll be pleased to know that there are a variety of ways to make a more self-sustaining environment that not only reduces waste, but is more reliant on renewable sources of energy as well. And best of all, your local wildlife will certainly thank you for providing a range of habitats right outside your house.
Gardeners play a unique role in lessening the ever-growing pressures within the ecosystem. Studies have also shown that eco gardening has made a positive impact on the slowing of climate change, cutting energy use and reducing waste. If you find your garden to be uninteresting and dull, consider eco living to transform your space into something that is more biologically diverse and planet-friendly.
Having a garden makes you feel fulfilling when you have a green thumb. whether you’re an intrepid landscape designer earnestly shaping topiaries to reenact the Fall of Troy or an apartment dweller content with a couple of potted begonias. The only question you need to ask yourself: Can you dig it?
1. Make compost from kitchen scraps
Aside from stimulating healthy root development, the addition of rich and earthy compost also improves soil texture, aeration, and water retention.
2. Grow your own food
Buying organic produce can admittedly get pricey, so how about growing your own food instead of painstakingly manicuring that lawn for the umpteenth time? An estimated 40 million acres of the 48 contiguous American states are covered in lawns, making turf grass the United States’ largest irrigated crop. American homeowners apply a cringe-worthy tens of millions of pounds of fertilizers and pesticides to their lawns, often at many times the recommended levels. All that for little more than ornamentation. It’s time to return to the use of gardens as food sources–you won’t find fresher (or cheaper) eating anywhere else.
3. Harvest rainwater
Adding a rain barrel is an inexpensive and effortless way to capture mineral- and chlorine-free water for watering lawns, yards, and gardens, as well as washing cars or rinsing windows. By harnessing what’s literally raining from the sky, you’ll not only notice a marked dip in water costs, but also a reduction in stormwater runoff, which in turn helps prevent erosion and flooding. Pop a screen on top of your barrel to keep out insects, debris, and bird missiles, and make frequent use of your water supply to keep it moving and aerated.
4. The R Power
Get hip to four “R”s of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenScapes program: Reduce, recycle, reuse and rebuy. You want to reduce your output of waste to ensure you’re using materials efficiently. Reusing compost and tree clippings for mulch, or rainwater for watering take up little time and energy, but offer plenty of environmental bang for your buck. Recycling saves resources, while rebuying means seeking products that meet your needs, but are more environmentally friendly than your usual purchases–take, for instance, solar outdoor lighting versus electric-powered fixtures.