Nearly all of us undertake some form of recycling to help reduce our individual carbon footprints. Most people, however, never consider the additional benefits of reducing your carbon footprint through gardening. Keeping in mind that having your own garden can save you money on fruits and vegetables, there are some other things you can do in your garden that will further reduce your carbon footprint.
Make the Most of Trees and Shrubs
Trees and shrubs make ideal fencing for most gardens and help further reduce your carbon footprint. Not only can trees and shrubs help create privacy and shading but they can also help with irrigation of your garden. Trees and shrubs naturally attract more water and keep your garden thriving. Learn more about the benefits of planting larger foliage.
Creating Your Own Fertilizer
Many gardeners forget that they can create their own fertilizer at home. You can do this easily by composting garbage that would normally go to a dump. Items like tea bags, coffee grounds, peelings from vegetables and fruits, and eggshells all make great compositing materials and reduce the amount of garbage you produce.
In addition to these “indoor” compositing materials, gardeners recycling waste can also use grass clippings, wood chips and leaves for creating their own compost. Avoid using any clippings from diseased plants, fertilized plants or debris from walnut plants as they may cause problems with new growth. If you recycling large portions of your other types of garbage (your soda cans, glass jars, plastic bottles, etc.) as well, you’re really reducing the amount of landfill space you’re taking up and your carbon footprint.
Make the Most of Water
Most gardeners give little thought to watering, after all, you need sufficient water for your garden to thrive. It’s fairly simple, however, to capture rainwater and use it to keep your garden thriving instead of dumping gallon after gallon of clean, drinkable water into the ground. Simply collect water in bins, buckets or even barrels and use this “gray water” for keeping your garden green.
Create Your Own Natural Pest Repellents
Slugs and all types of nasty bugs probably wind up in your garden. There are some natural methods for keeping these pests under control by recycling materials that you probably have in your home.
- Yogurt Cups
Sink a yogurt cup into the ground and fill it with beer or water and dry yeast. Slugs will be attracted by the yeast but will drown in this solution. Milk can also be used, but keep in mind that, no matter what you use, the cups will have to be disposed of regularly.
- Grapefruit and coconuts
Peelings from grapefruit or a coconut shell can be placed on the ground near you favorite plants. In the morning, check these out and you are likely to find that slugs have used them for a hideout. Simply remove the skins or shells and dispose of the slugs. These peels can then be added to your compost heap.
- DVDs or CDs
If you are having problems with birds stealing your plants, simply create a string of scratched (and otherwise useless) CDs or DVDs and hang them in your garden. The resulting “scarecrow” will help keep your garden safe from birds.
Gardening as a Community
Sharing your garden with friends, family members and others in the community also helps reduce their carbon footprint. If you are growing more fruits and vegetables than your family can use, you can help reduce the overall carbon footprint in your neighborhood or community. Consider a community based gardening project that will help reduce your overall carbon footprint and that of your neighborhood. Not only will everyone be able to save some money, but you will also have a project the entire neighborhood can enjoy.