If there is one thing that society tends to agree on these days; it’s the need for sustainability within all aspects of your life. With the earth in a climate crisis and the environment crying out for help, it has never been more important than at this moment to do whatever it takes to reduce your carbon footprint. Our carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gases that are released into the atmosphere through human means. It’s these greenhouse gases that deplete and create holes in the ozone layer which is why more people are concerned with the amount of carbon footprint they are leaving behind.
While there are numerous ways to diminish your carbon footprint such as recycling, carpooling, purchasing organic and locally grown produce; one of the biggest and easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to incorporate sustainable means into your garden.
So, what exactly is sustainable ways for your garden and outdoor back and front yard? Let’s take a look!
One of the easiest ways to garden in a sustainable way is to change the way you water your garden. While a garden needs a daily supply of water, either from nature through rainfall or through human means such as a hose, you don’t actually have to use council water.
Set up barrels and jugs that will collect rainwater for future use or can be connected to a water irrigation system. These rain barrels are available at your local hardware store and should be a sturdy plastic or similar material that will not rust or become waterlogged. Set them up in easily accessible locations around your yard that will see the most rainfall. You can even set them up underneath your eavestrough on your home so that the water runs from the roof directly into the barrels.
Invest in a screen that will help filter the water by removing larger debris, critters and whatnot. This way, the water is cleaner and will contain more nutrients for the gardens. Another bonus of this method? You can use this filtered water for washing your car and hosing down your driveway. If you don’t use all the water in the barrels within a week or so, let the barrel drain so you aren’t using stale water on your plants.
Another way to incorporate sustainability into your garden is to avoid buying expensive fertilizers that have to be trucked in from other areas. Instead, create your own compost pile by adding recyclable material from your household garbage, such as newsprint, eggshells, and coffee grounds, to a pile of lawn clippings and wood chips. Turn this pile over every second day to allow the fermentation process to complete and then once the mixture is crumbly and brown, spread it over your garden beds to encourage hearty but natural plant growth.
To discourage critters and insects from setting up shop in your compost pile and to prevent a strong smell of decay in your backyard; invest in a reliable compost container. These containers come with a strong, locked lid that can be easily opened by a human but not by an animal or child.
Trees, Fruits, Vegetables and Herb Growth
One of the most productive ways to incorporate sustainability into your garden is to start growing other things than just flowers. Flowers and greenery are undoubtedly the visual points of your garden beds, but you can also use spare room in your backyard to start growing your own produce. Think vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, lettuce and tomatoes; then branch out into fruits and herbs. Once your garden starts producing a significant crop; you are able to save money on your groceries and you know that the produce that is in your fridge was grown safely, without the use of pesticides or steroids.
Just ensure that you have a place to store your harvest, so it doesn’t go bad quickly. You want a cold room that doesn’t have sunlight or heat access. If this isn’t an option, you can make storage containers out of wooden crates that are lined with Styrofoam and newsprint to trap the cool. These cool temperatures will allow produce to last longer and you could also look into canning your wares or using them to make spreads, jellies and more!
Trees are also the saviors of the environment as they are one of the biggest mass producers of oxygen. They take carbon dioxide expulsions and transforms it into oxygen to be released into the atmosphere which in time, will help diminish the holes in the ozone layer and prevent new ones from forming. You definitely don’t want a full forest in your backyard but surrounding your property with a variety of tree species not only helps the environment, but it also presents a stunning visual display.
You don’t have to overhaul your entire life in order to reduce your carbon footprint but instead you can incorporate small ways into your daily routine. The sustainable ways we spoke about here today in terms of your garden can actually reduce your carbon footprint by a lot. If you want to incorporate other ways of sustainability into your daily life; then by all means, carpooling is encouraged, solar energy is encouraged and buying local to cut down on the emissions that are expelled to get the product to your hometown is definitely encouraged.
With a bit of physical effort, some willpower and the knowledge shared here today (and the knowledge you can find online, through local farmers and gardeners, and even those in the neighbor who are growing their own fruits and vegetables), you too can make a difference for the environment. After all, wouldn’t you want a healthy planet for your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and so forth?