Eco-conscious homeowners need to be proactive about minimizing their carbon footprint, even during the pandemic. We have found that the stay-at-home orders have slowed the escalation of climate change. In April, a report showed that total emissions dropped 5.5%, which is a higher reduction than that seen during the Great Recession. This shows that lifestyle changes during the crisis are helping ease the climate crisis and slow global warming.
One idea worth looking into during this pandemic is starting a lockdown garden. A lockdown garden can be a great way to make your family more self-sufficient. You will also reduce your carbon footprint, since you won’t have to travel to the grocery store as frequently.
Getting Started with a Lockdown Garden
You should understand the terminology before starting your lockdown garden. Let’s start by defining the word “lockdown.”
Lockdown. The word has come to define our lives for a while, but it need not be all negative. With these ideas you can transform your garden, your health, your life, and the way you use it. A garden has the potential to enhance your health, broaden your food supplies, build your mental resilience, and improve your environmental impact. About 8% of our carbon footprint comes from food, so you can lower it by growing your own. However, it also matters what you grow to lower your carbon footprint, so you need to choose your lockdown garden plants carefully.
A good design sets a good foundation for the garden of your future and easy to update it as you go through life. Now is the best time to make the most of it.
If you want to ensure the safety of all ages of visitors, then a water feature can give a tranquil sound. Studies show that water sounds can help relieve stress and help sleep. Silent water features – a bucket or wash basin – can be good for wildlife. Please be sure that there is at least one way for critters to get out of it with strategically placed rocks, wood, or other structures.
If you already have a building (or two) in your garden, consider its appeal while it is on stage this year. Declutter and organize the inside, check for safety, and consider cleaning and painting the outside. This can be a family project, and the kids could be allowed to paint mock plantings and flowers around the base.
Zones For Each Activity And Aspirations
Now that our gardens are being used so much more and for so many more activities – even homeschooling school trips – it makes sense to have all these activities accommodated. This may be the biggest part of how to use your garden well during this lockdown and can set the foundation for this year and years to come. You might consider some professional advice and expertise in setting up and maintaining different zones for the activities, such as barbecuing, eating, sunbathing, active exercise, yoga, meditations, reading, gardening, and wildlife space. A great plan can make appropriate space for each of these uses now as well as setting up a good base for changes in the future as families grow and develop.
For cooking outdoors, it is important to check for fire and smoke safety, so your cooking area needs to be well-ventilated and safely away from flammable materials as well as avoiding causing a nuisance to neighbors. Another aspect to consider is rain: What will the effects of rain be on how you use the garden? An outdoor room might be considered, but even without one a good design will consider something like gravel pathways or paving stones to reach parts of your garden after rains.
Edible Flowers and Decorative Vegetables
With more time in the garden and different food shopping patterns, now is the time to switch in some edible flowers and decorative vegetables, as long as you always wash them well. Consider flowers such as hibiscus, nasturtium, purslane, even pansies. For vegetables, carrot tops and beetroot are great foliage with a surprise underground. The familiar leek and globe artichoke offer beauty as well as edibles. Kids can grow speckled salad leaves and rainbow chard, and might be delighted with scarlet and purple beans, fancy cabbages and broccolis. Your five-a-day might never be the same again!
Music To Your Ears
A great benefit to design into your garden is good use of acoustics. However, kids’ active play is not always conducive to meditation, so the sound in your zones will need to be compatible and perhaps scheduled. Please be considerate: It may be music to you, but is it just noise to your neighbors?
Not everyone likes windchimes, and not all of us want a ‘deer-scarer’ hitting rocks. The sound of trickling water is usually more universally liked and need not require a large space but might require power as well as drainage and other protections. If you cannot decide on what sound to introduce into your garden, remember how soothing and uplifting it is just to hear natural birdsong.
The Wild Side
Already it is clear that wildlife is moving into places we have not seen them before (boars in Barcelona, penguins in downtown Cape Town), and park wildlife might be getting a little hungry without so many visitors feeding them.
Share your space with wildlife and help the planet at the same time. Consider leaving a patch a bit less manicured, add some plantings for bees and butterflies, open a hedgehog tunnel, and include a small water supply – a small bucket or bowl – that can support biodiversity. These will encourage insect life and birdsong, and even larger creatures may visit, giving you a great way to reconnect to Nature and the natural calendar.
However small your garden is, it provides the opportunity and the need to make the most of where we are. If you are fortunate enough to have even a small outdoor space, now is the time to see how you can make the most of it.
Lockdown Gardens Are a Sustainable Food Source During the Pandemic
Are you serious about trying to reduce your carbon footprint during quarantine? You should try creating a lockdown garden. This will make a big difference in your environmental footprint.