Monday, 20 June 2016
Incorporating Greener Practices into your Lawn and Garden Maintenance
Going green may seem daunting and for good reason. Organic produce, electric vehicles, and renewable energy are all traditionally more expensive than their less environmentally friendly counterparts. Consistently seeing green choices that are more expensive than the status quo colours one's perception. Contrary to popular belief, going green doesn't always require more time or money, though, and this is the case when it comes to lawn and garden care practices. Making your backyard greener can benefit your budget as much as it does the environment, and with that in mind, here are five "green" changes that will make your lawn and garden care more environmentally conscious this summer and won't break the bank.
If your current lawn mower is reaching the end of its lifespan, make the switch and try an electric or push mower. Both are consistently less expensive than their gas-guzzling counterparts; you won't have to spend money on fossil fuels to keep them powered, and they'll reduce the amount of emissions reaching our atmosphere.
Simultaneously, you can switch to organic pesticides and fertilizers for use on your lawn and in your garden. It is one area where you will pay a slight premium out of pocket. That increase in cost is nothing when compared to the huge ecological cost incurred by fat-soluble pesticides which build up as they move up the food chain, harming creatures at the top (like us) and by nitrogen-based fertilizers which cause algae blooms in our waterways, choking out fish and other organisms.
High ecological cost or not, for some of us, the increased cost of buying organic pesticides and fertilizer is too much to fit into a household budget. If that's the case with you, fear not, there are other ways you can help. You can leave your grass clippings on the lawn to replenish nutrients in the soil and serve as an alternative to or supplement for fertilizer. Compost yard and kitchen waste for use as fertilizer in your garden- organic waste was being used on crops for centuries before the invention of modern chemical alternatives, and it's every bit as effective now as it was then.
Leaving grass longer can also help you cut down on your need for pesticides. Longer grass stands a much better chance of out-competing weeds, reducing their access to valuable, water, and nutrients. That doesn't mean that you should let your lawn grow unkempt, that's not what I'm saying at all. Keeping it trim is fine, just raise your lawn mower's blades a little higher off of the ground and you'll reap monetary and environmental rewards.
I'd also recommend looking into purchasing a rain barrel. Rain barrels are relatively inexpensive, provide a free alternative to tap water, and have none of the energy costs incurred by the transport and treatment of that tap water.
Like I said, going green doesn't have to be time, energy, or cost-intensive. A few small changes can make your life easier, reduce strain on your budget, and diminish your environmental footprint in one fell swoop. Why not make those changes today?