Most people think that gardening is an inherently green activity. Actually, lots of fossil fueled based energy goes into even the smallest vegetable or flower garden. There are a number of ways that you can offset your impact on the environment though of going green.
A home compost pile is one of the best things you can do for your garden and environment. By composting food and other waste products like paper you can avoid having to buy compost or fertilizer at your local farm store. Store bought compost may be made entirely organically or it might not, but either way gasoline is used to transport it from its factory to the farm. Chemical fertilizers can leave traces in the soil long after your flowers are gone and depending on your water table they may even drift over to your vegetable garden. Home made fertilizer can save you money and help the environment.
Going Green in the Garden
People pump thousands of gallons of water into their gardens each year. This water generally comes from their back yard hose tap and is filled with a large number of chemicals that local municipals use to treat the water and make it safe for drinking. This may make the water safer for drinking, but some of those chemicals (like chlorine) can hurt plants. Water pressure at homes is created through a series of pumps at the local water plant; those pumps have to be powered by something, generally electricity. You can save power and protect your plants from chemicals by using rain barrels and going green to save water. These barrels collect rain water and you can use it later to water your plants. There are even drip irrigation kits for rain barrels so that watering your plants can be made easy and hands free.
The most obvious way of going green in the garden is to eat what you grow. If you are growing too many vegetables and aren’t eating them then it may be time to buy a dehydrator or to learn how to can. Canning home grown vegetables can give you quality soups and vegetables for the winter months when your garden is dead. The best part is that glass jars used for canning can even be reused, so there is less waste involved then buying canned food from the grocery store.
Going green is more a lifestyle than a saying. It’s easy to find ways where people waste energy and don’t even realize it. Even if you choose not to take steps to garden with less environmental impact you are still being much kinder to the planet than someone who doesn’t garden at all.