Member Home > Green Living Certification > Simple Changes
Green Living Certification
Chapter 4 - Simple Changes
Page 5 of 7

4.4 Your Garden

There are two major, but simple, changes you can make in your garden - keep a composting pile and water less, a lot less.

Let's look at composting.

One of the main advantages of composting is that it allows you to stop using your garbage disposal so much (which is a waste of water and electricity) and it allows you to feed your garden organic matter.

Because food and yard waste are said to make up as much as 30% of the waste found in the waste stream, even turning some of the food scraps and yard waste into compost will undoubtedly reduce your contribution to that waste stream.

If you have a yard, you can create a small composting pile with a mixture of fallen leaves, grass and food scraps. Instead of pushing your food scraps down the drain or putting them in the trash, you can add them to the compost pile, which benefits the environment and your garden (providing organic material is infinitely better for your garden and environment than using pesticides and sprays).

Composting essentially involves turning the yard and garden wastes into decomposed matter which is then spread in gardens as an organic "feed" for the plants.

Some believe that starting a composting pile benefits your diet, as you think of ways to "feed" your pile and choose more good-quality food matter to add to the composting pile.

When you mow your lawn, leave the clippings on the ground to provide beneficial mulch back to the lawn.

Composting benefits the environment in several ways - by saving water, reducing the use of pesticides, and reducing your footprint on the waste stream - but if you're focusing on the garden you have to focus on water.

Water is as big a pest in the garden as any other. It's easy to overwater, and waste this precious resource.

While water is precious, there are many ways to reduce your consumption in the garden while still keeping your yard looking green and nice. One tip that many water watchers follow is to collect rainwater in barrels from your rain gutters. Put the barrels under your rain gutters during a storm and collect all the water, and then recycle the water in your yard.

Check with your local water company; many offer the barrels for free to encourage water recycling.

Whenever possible, use a watering can to water your garden. You'll use a lot less water than if you use sprinklers or a hose, and you can control the amount of water your yard gets.

If a watering can won't work, don't turn instead to a hose or sprinkler. Both are huge water wasters and can put off as much water in an hour as a family of four might use in an entire day. Switch instead to drip irrigation, which is much more conservation-friendly.

Follow a schedule for watering - water first thing in the morning or late in the evening. It's cool at these times of day, reducing the chances that your water will simply evaporate.

If you live in a drought-prone area, consider getting rid of your lawn in favor or drought-resistant plants and landscaping. Since most people overwater their lawns anyhow, you'll save water from not having to water the lawn. It will be less work for you as well.

Gas lawnmowers are bad for the environment. Many people think that getting an electric lawnmower is better, which is it can be. But there is still the issue of using the electricity, requiring the production of electricity and all the issues related to that.

How about a better option? Purchase a push mower. These require a lot more effort on your part, but they don't contribute to any environmental concerns; you also get some good exercise at the same time. There is no bag to collect the clippings, but leaving them on the lawn provides the lawn with beneficial mulch, giving you a more beautiful lawn.


ExpertRating Green Living Certification - Get Certified Now!!

  Green Living Discussion Board
Write your commentsLanguage and Content Guidelines