As hobbies go, gardening is one of the greenest. You don’t expend fuel to drive to your own garden and the only impact you have on the environment is a positive one. Here are some ways to ensure your garden is as eco-friendly as possible.
Lowering Your Carbon Footprint
The biggest reason that gardening is good for the environment is that it can help reduce your carbon footprint. There are a number of ways that this happens and you can’t afford to overlook them if you are trying to do your part to improve the environment.
Here are some reasons that gardening is a good way to cut your carbon footprint.
Food Isn’t Transported
One of the biggest reasons that eating leaves a large carbon footprint is that food needs to be transported large distances. When accounting for the food inputs at farms and factories, the average bite of food needs to travel 4,200 miles before reaching the customer.
When you create your own garden using your own locally procured seeds and tools, the food miles traveled is a fraction of that figure.
You Minimize Unnecessary Biocides
Factory farms tend to use large amounts of insecticides, fungicides and herbicides to grow their food. This not only hurts the local environment, but it also leaves a large carbon footprint. If you grow your own food, you can choose to garden without biocides. This is much healthier for your family, the groundwater, and the earth.
Serious gardeners won’t be happy with a flat, rectangular plot of land. This is boring and provides very little in the way of interesting architectural features to catch the eye. Trees and mature shrubs add interest, but these can take years to achieve a reasonable size. A better option is to work with what you have and look at creating areas of interest, such as raised beds or slopes.
There are many ways to create retaining walls and raised areas. On a small scale, you can use railway sleepers and bricks to build walls or raised beds. If you want to build a larger raised area, stronger structural support will be required. One way to do this is with gabion retaining walls. Large contractors often stabilize a slope with a gabion retaining wall. It’s an effective way to support tons of soil and rubble using steel mesh cages containing stones and rocks. Steel is an eco-friendly material and rocks can be repurposed from other areas, so if you elect to use gabion retaining walls, your eco-friendly credentials won’t be harmed.
Work with the Local Environment
Excessive use of water is never good for the environment. Water is a finite resource. In some parts of the world, excessive use of water in gardens can lead to water shortages locally. Instead of planting a garden based on your vision of a green paradise, look at using plants that can cope with the weather, whether that’s extreme heat and very little rainfall, or strong winds and sea salt.
Create a planting scheme that makes use of trees and larger shrubs. These give back to the environment in a ton of ways. Trees and plants extract toxins from the air, use carbon-dioxide, and release oxygen. It all helps to improve the atmosphere of our planet. Trees and other deep-rooted plants also stabilize the soil, which is useful if you live in an area where soil erosion is a problem.
Don’t forget to add a vegetable patch to your garden. Growing veggies is a great way to do your bit for the environment. Food production uses a huge number of resources. Produce has to be shipped from farms, packaged, and sold in stores. All this is expensive and bad for the environment. Growing your own veggies means you can enjoy organic, healthy produce produced by your own fair hands. Doesn’t that sound like a much better idea?
Good for your Health
Gardening is also good for your health. The healthier you are, the less you need to rely on our healthcare system. Every time you visit the doctor or go to the hospital, you are using resources such as energy. Think about this every time you head out into the garden to do a spot of weeding.
Gardening is the Perfect Green Hobby
If you are looking for a hobby that helps reduce the world’s carbon footprint, then gardening is the perfect thing to try. You can help the environment, cut costs and eat better all at the same time.