How to Be Green-Fingered and Green-Minded: Keeping Your Garden Eco-Friendly
Your garden is quite probably the last place that you think of when looking to make your home more environmentally friendly. After all, it’s green and natural – isn’t it?
There are in fact many ways in which you can make your garden better for the environment, and none of them are particularly difficult or time consuming. Here are four of the best:
If you’ve got space in your garden, then there is simply no reason not to have a compost bin. You can throw all manner of waste fruit, veg and plant matter into the barrel, and you’ll end up with some fantastic compost at the end of it. You can even put most tea bags in there too, so most people will keep a mini-bin in their kitchen which they then transfer outside every few days. This all natural compost is often better than the stuff you buy at the garden centre too. If you can’t use it all, then you could always donate it to neighbours. There’s a great list of the things you can and can’t put in a compost bin here at the UK government funded Recycle Now website.
Many Sheds and things like that now have a power supply to them, whether to keep seedlings alive, or to light up a workbench. Unfortunately, a lot of bulbs and heaters meant for the outdoors, especially older ones, are not efficient at all, and will use a great deal of unnecessary energy. Consider looking for energy-saving bulbs, and insulation rather than heaters. If you want to go the whole-hog, then you could always install solar panelling to power your garden electrics, just like those mini path lights.
Water butts are a very simple concept, but they can save you money, and save a considerable amount of energy. If you’ve got a lot of plants that need watering, or a pond that needs topping up then you’ll be using a lot of water during the summer months. It’s far better to have this water stored up from the rain than to be using it straight from the tap. You’ll only pay for the butt once, and you’ll have an almost unlimited supply of water that isn’t using energy being treated. Remember of course that this water is not suitable for consumption.
Lots of gardeners are very proud of their lawns, and they require a considerable amount of upkeep. Along with this can come all manner of sprays and granules to keep grass healthy and weeds dead. It’s very important that you check what you’re putting on your garden though, because wildlife will be using it too. Natural, non-toxic products are the best, because they won’t harm anything that consumes them accidentally, and won’t leave a lasting negative impression on the soil. Always be conscious that your garden is there for wildlife to enjoy as well as you.