In honor of Earth Day April 22nd, here are some simple suggestions for a few ways you can make some big changes in the impact we have on our beautiful planet.
One of the easiest ways is to choose native and adaptive plants. Native (indigenous to an area) and adaptive (adapted to our climate but not invasive) plants use less water and attract native bees and insects, they are also lower maintenance and typically need less pest control management.
Use only organic solutions when pest management is necessary. Educate yourself on the long-term use of chemicals on your property which changes the Eco system for everyone. Quick point… chemicals can’t tell a good bug from a bad one. Chemical weed killer and synthetic fertilizers kill the soil, not to mention the run off of chemical fertilizers that create algal blooms in streams and ponds that kill the aquatic life by using all the oxygen in the water. There is an organic remedy for just about everything so why not try them? They’re also cheaper in the long run.
Install rain barrels and keep the water that lands on your property, on your property. Capturing rain by planting native grasses and plants as well as redirecting rainfall on our land by creating berms and bog gardens help guide water to the aquifer and deep into our soil. Set your irrigation systems properly for adequate coverage without runoff, this may mean you need to set your timer for several short bursts instead of one long run. If it has rained..TURN IT OFF, if you don’t need to water, don’t. According to the statistics from A&M’s water conservation specialist, we will run out of water in the next 10 years if we continue on the same path we are now. Many cities are already recycling blackwater and greywater. ( Look it up, you wont like the answer)
In your home, never run the water while doing the dishes or brushing your teeth and always wash a full load of laundry or be sure to adjust the load size. I keep a pitcher next to the sink to collect all of the unused drinking water and I always empty my unused cooking water into the yard after it’s cooled, this goes for cooler water as well in the Summer time. Buy your family “Earth Day” Eco water bottles and stop using plastic. Keep them in the fridge and ready to go to make them more convenient to use. Save on watering by using soaker hoses and drip irrigation so you aren’t losing water to evaporation from traditional sprayers. “Put your money where your Mulch is.” Mulch in the Fall and add compost in the Spring to your beds adequately to reduce water usage, always have at least 4 inches of mulch in your beds and 1 inch or less around mature tree’s. (see tree rings)
Recycle your garden pots and buckets!! Many local nurseries will happily take back the growing pots you bought your plant in. Lowes home improvement will also take your empties! If you can’t recycle where you live, get in the habit of returning them where you bought them. If the nursery you use doesn’t recycle them, maybe you should suggest they do for the cause.
Plant a new tree for Earth Day to replenish the loss of trees due to deforestation. Remember that one tree provides enough oxygen for the life of 2 people. Tree’s provide shade in the Summer and a home for wildlife. Trees placed by your home (but not too close) provide shade on your roof and windows and save on electricity.
Buy recycled garden materials, tools and buckets. It may cost you a little more, but you will feel good about your choices. Finally, always recycle lawn scraps, never bag them for the landfill, start a compost pile, bag them in paper bags for the city, or find a neighbor who can use them on their compost. Make every day Earth Day and remember that it only takes one person to make a difference, and more is even better!
Happy Earth Day & Happy Gardening!!
Lisa’s Landscape & Design (“like” me on facebook!)
“Saving the Planet One Day at a Time”
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
Native American Proverb
- Posted in: Central Texas Gardens ♦ Chemical Free ♦ Compost ♦ Eco Friendly ♦ Education ♦ Gardening ♦ Mulch ♦ Native and Adapted Trees ♦ Organic Gardening ♦ organic pest control ♦ Soil Preparation ♦ Water Wise ♦ Water Wise Perennial Plants ♦ Xeriscape
- Tagged: Avery Ranch, Central Texas, Earth Day, earth kind gardening, Landscape and Design, landscape solutions, Mulch, Organic Gardening, rain barrels, texas native and adaptive designs, water conservation