Although gardening has been proven to have significant mental health benefits, let’s be honest, sometimes it can feel like hard work. Moreover, if sustainable gardening practices are not followed, it can have adverse effects on the environment. Fortunately, incorporating eco-friendly practices into your gardening routine is simple. The range includes methods for improving your home using eco-friendly garden decor and garden plants.
1. Make the Most of LED Light Bulbs
When you want to explore sustainable home improvements, a great way to start is by switching to energy-efficient lighting. Just replace any burnt-out lightbulbs with LED bulbs. It’s a straightforward and inexpensive step that makes a significant impact.
While LED bulbs may have a slightly higher initial cost compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, their long lifespan and energy savings make them well worth the investment. You can use LED bulbs for general household lighting, as well as for holiday or landscape lights.
2. Grow your own food
What plants are best to help the environment? These are local plants, and this is where you should start your journey. They are better adapted to climate conditions and require less maintenance. One of our best environmentally friendly gardening ideas is to cultivate your own vegetables and herbs. Not only will you enjoy the process of seeing your plants grow, but you’ll also reduce your carbon footprint.
The good news is that you don’t need a large plot of land to start growing your veggies. With the plant identifier app, you can find plants for almost any condition. In the plant app, you can create a farm for yourself right on your balcony or organize a vegetable garden of any size. You should use the best plant identifier app for Android and iPhone to identify plants easily. However, this is not the only ability of the app for plants, as there are recommendations for care, special plant preferences, etc. Even if you are an inexperienced gardener, the app for iPhone will help fill the knowledge gap.
3. Combine Plants Correctly
How do you live an eco-conscious lifestyle? This means taking care of your garden first. Eco-friendly and organic gardening promotes the presence of beneficial organisms while deterring harmful pests. One effective method is companion planting, where two plant species with mutual benefits are grown together.
With numerous plant combinations to choose from, here are some noteworthy pairs:
- Tomatoes and chives: These garden staples work well when planted side by side. Chives emit a strong scent that deters aphids and pests, safeguarding the tomatoes without impacting their flavor.
- Garlic and potatoes: Another powerful duo, garlic repels pests that commonly affect potatoes and other tubers. Planting garlic between potato rows helps fend off Japanese beetles, onion flies, and moth species.
- Carrots and leeks: The scent of these vegetables confuses their respective predators. Leeks repel carrot flies, while carrots repel onion flies and leek moths.
- Peppers and basil: Basil acts as a protective plant, keeping aphids, spider mites, and fly species at bay. It’s also believed to enhance the flavor of peppers.
4. Choose Energy-Efficient Appliances
Energy-efficient appliances have witnessed significant advancements in recent decades, reducing heat loss in ovens and retaining cold in freezers. When shopping for new appliances, prioritize those certified by Energy Star, which indicates compliance with the U.S. Department of Energy’s stringent energy efficiency standards.
Even if you’re not currently considering upgrading your appliances, you can enhance energy efficiency by covering pans while cooking, opting for smaller appliances when feasible (like a toaster oven instead of a full-sized oven), and running your dishwasher or washing machine only when they are full.
5. Upgrade Windows and Doors
Windows and doors in homes can result in considerable energy loss. During winter, poorly insulated ones permit heat to escape, while during summer, they allow heat to enter, making it challenging to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. This becomes even more problematic when single-pane glass windows or poorly sealed ones are used.
There exist several methods to enhance the energy efficiency of windows and doors:
- Opt for double- or triple-paned windows featuring low-emissivity coatings.
- Choose doors equipped with weather stripping and a tight seal.
- Install window coverings like blinds or curtains to minimize heat transfer.
6. Use Drought-resistant Plants
Growing plants that require minimal watering is one of the most effective and low-maintenance methods to reduce water usage. The popularity of drought-resistant plants, such as grasses, shrubs, cacti, and low-lying flowers, is increasing due to their water-conserving properties and ease of care.
Lavender, rosemary, yarrow, and sage are among the favored choices for drought-resistant plants. Before introducing any plant to your garden, always ensure that it is not considered an invasive species in your area. Additionally, prioritize local plants over imported species whenever possible.
Home improvement and plant care are interrelated activities that are often perceived as separate. To achieve a sustainable lifestyle, it is highly advisable to grow your own food and conserve resources. All this can be achieved using the tips above.