Sunday , May 19 2024

Gardening for the eco warrior

Make these simple changes to your gardening regime to keep your carbon footprint right down while your garden looks good the year round…

Swap Your Mower  Swapping your petrol mower for a manual equivalent can save a massive 36kg of CO2 annually and save you around £18 a year too, not to mention the extra exercise you’ll get yourself in the process.

Say No To Peat  We use more peat in gardens than anywhere else by far.  Peat bogs store more carbon than the average forest yet every year, according to the BBC, an area ten times the size of Monaco is dug up in Ireland to provide peat for our yards.  Choosing homemade compost is the best way to fertilise your garden.

Buy Sustainable Wood  No garden is complete without a good set of garden furniture.  But be sure to buy Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) approved wood products and avoid Vietnamese produced furniture – the UK is the world’s third biggest importer of Vietnam’s illegally logged wood furniture.

Avoid Nitrogen  Nitrogen rich fertilisers require a huge amount of fossil fuel to produce, emitting nitrous oxide, a substance 300 times more deadly to the environment than CO2.  Again, homemade compost is the best option here.

Install A Water-Butt  Contrary to popular belief the user of tap water is not the worst culprit in the garden when it comes to eco-crimes.  However installing a water butt could not only save energy equivalent to a three mile journey in your car but save up to £200 in bills per year.

Don’t Use Sprinklers or Hose Pipes  Sprinklers are dreadful water wasters, using 138 times the amount of water used in watering with a can.  Likewise a hose pipe uses the same amount of water in an hour as the average family of four uses in the course of a day.  Water using a can and use recycled water where possible, but…

Don’t Use Grey Water Filters  While homemade systems for the use of grey water (that is recycled water from baths and sinks) are an excellent idea, commercially bought equivalents are the the subject of a raging debate.  High tech systems can use so much electricity that the bad outweighs the good.

Light Up Sensibly  Rather than use main powered garden lights invest in solar equivalents which store energy from the sun to be used at night.  If you must plug in however LED lights are infinitely the better choice.

Use Drought Resistant Planting Schemes  To save on water pick hardy plants, such as lavender and salvia, which don’t need as much water as traditional roses and bedding plants.  This obviously saves not only on water but on the time you spend working on your garden too.

Never Buy A Patio Heater  There’s not much more damaging to our planet than a patio heater.  While they might keep your warm on those late nights the CO2 produced by these pricey gadgets could ensure that the planet permanently heats up.

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