We’re all struggling to find ways to reduce our carbon footprint and make a difference in the fight against climate change. However, sometimes it feels like a lost cause – how can one person change things?
The truth is that everything makes a difference. The better each person looks after the Earth, the more the environment can sustain itself and recover. Here are a few small changes you can make in your own garden.
1. Look After Your Soil
A vegetable patch is one of the great delights of a garden. Growing your own produce is satisfying, sustainable, and delicious. However, soil that fosters crops year after year gets tired, just as we do when we work our jobs for too long without a break.
Regenerative agriculture is a farming practice that takes care of the soil used to grow crops. This is achieved by giving the soil a break once in a while. This can be done by rotating crops, so one patch of soil isn’t used for one especially labor-intensive crop each year, or by simply giving a field a year off.
You can do this on a smaller scale in your yard. If you’ve been using the same part of your garden as a vegetable patch for a few years, consider switching it out with another one. Refertilize the soil in your veg patch and give it time to rest. Let the worms improve it and perhaps grow some less intensive crops like wildflowers in that patch for a year. It’ll be ready to grow crops again the next year, and they’ll be all the better for being grown in rested, regenerated soil.
2. Get a Compost Bin
One of the easiest ways you can benefit the environment is by composting waste rather than throwing it away. Landfills have a devastating impact on the environment, and the less we put in them, the better.
Composting fruit and vegetable waste along with recyclable material like cardboard is a great start. It also means you’ll have a ready supply of high-quality compost to mulch through your soil once it breaks down, which regenerates the soil and helps you grow healthier plants!
3. Grow Plants That Attract Pollinators
Another excellent tip is to grow more wildflowers and pollinator-friendly plants. The best choices may surprise you – garden centers and bees don’t always agree on what the best plants are for your garden. Some wildflowers look slightly unkempt compared to neat hedgerows, but your local bee population will appreciate it. And the bees need help!
Likewise, it’s not just the pretty, dopey bumblebees that act as pollinators. Hoverflies and even wasps play a critical role in local ecosystems. We know – attracting wasps is a hard sell. But these insects are crucial to our environment’s survival. They’ll appreciate the help.
4. Avoid Pesticides and Weedkillers
Pesticides and weedkillers are terrible for the environment. Some organic options are less harmful, but ultimately, the less you can use these, the better.
There are exceptions. An ant infestation needs to be dealt with as soon as it appears. But if you can avoid spraying pesticides and weedkillers over your garden, it’ll be a happier place.
5. Nurture Fungi
If you see mushrooms growing in your yard, it’s a sign of a healthy ecosystem! Fungi break down dying plant matter, and they’re to be welcomed. Again, exceptions can be made – for example, if you have small children who might get a bit too inquisitive.
Your yard is the best place to start doing your bit for the environment. A few small changes make a big difference – nobody is too small to help!