Making your landscape more eco-friendly will save you money and energy and reduce your carbon footprint. You can reduce air, soil, and water pollution and waste by reducing, recycling and reusing.
To have a green landscape, you don’t need to change your existing landscape. First, start by reducing the amount of waste you produce. For instance, reuse dead leaves, twigs, and lawn waste and create compost piles. Kitchen refuses such as food scraps and coffee grounds can be used as compost too. When the waste has decomposed, use it to fertilize your lawn and garden.
Research how you can compost and find a way that’s right for you. When you cut your grass, leave it on the lawn instead of bagging the clippings. The clippings will add nutrients to your lawn when they decompose. And when you buy mulch, buy in bulk to avoid getting rid of multiple plastic bags.
Next, think about reusing things you already have instead of buying new products. Even if you want to change things up a bit in your landscape, reuse and rework as much as possible. Or contact local organizations that can reuse or recycle what you are getting rid of. Another way to recycle is to make a rain barrel to collect excess water from your gutter downspout. There are many options for rain collection, so do your research to find the best fit. Be sure to follow instructions on how to prep and clean your container and use the water once it’s collected.
How about reducing pollution? According to the EPA, 70 percent of our water pollution comes from storm water runoff and lawn chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides from the soil. A way to reduce that is to use organic means of fertilizing and pest control. Use compost as a way to provide nutrients to your garden and soil.
Organic fertilizers are available for lawns that don’t contain harmful pollutants. For pest control, from home remedies to commercial products, there are organic options that will protect and eliminate soil pollution. A way to reduce fuel emissions is to not cut your grass as much. Its recommended to keep your grass at a 3-inch height during the summer. This keeps the soil cool, provides moisture, and protects the grass’s root structure. Its also proven that mowing higher means fewer weeds since the longer grass shades and out-competes the weeds.
There is something all of us can do to reduce our carbon footprint. It doesn’t take much. We all chipping in and doing even the bare minimum will make a huge difference in our environment.
Marlin Palich is president of Stark Trumbull Area Realtors, which serves Stark, Carroll and Trumbull counties. Visit www.star.realtor for a complete listing of Realtors and affiliate members. If you have any questions or comments on this article, contact Cosgrove at email@example.com.