When my little boy presented me with my Mother’s Day gift this year, I was tickled pink. It was a beautifully handwritten book of all his thoughts and ideas. Every page had a different topic and beneath each header were little snippets from the mind of an eight year old. One page in particular seemed to leap out at me. ‘”What would make the World a Better Place?” My little boy’s answer was ‘The world would be a better place if everyone threw their trash away and quit littering.’ And you know, when I look back (way way back) to when I was his age, I can’t for the life of me say I ever once worried about the effects of littering. But as the Environment takes center stage in news and politics, it’s not surprising that even a child would be concerned with environmental issues.
And the trend-setting word these days as we battle toxic waste, ozone depletion, and unsightly soda cans tossed on the side of the road is green. Once thought to be just a color on the color wheel, Green is now a personal choice to making the world a better place. Going Green is the new hip way of living. Recycling. Conserving Water and Energy. Saying ‘no’ to plastic and carrying a re-useable shopping tote instead. As well as replacing harmful chemicals with more organic options. It’s all part of Green Living. And it’s the ‘in’ thing to do. Everyone and everything wants to be green these days. Even Gardening.
So how do you make your Garden Green? Use Organic Pesticide? Well, yes, that’s a start. But there are other things you can do to create a greener garden that would make Mother Nature proud.
1. Conserve Water – Now, don’t panic. I wouldn’t dream of suggesting that you deprive your garden of water. That would be silly. Instead of going green, you’d be going yellow with half starved plants. But with a little effort, you can collect rain water and/or pump water from a nearby stream or pond. You can even use waste water. Not only would you be saving on your water bill, you would be helping the environment. There are lots of options in the water conservation arena, but below are just two to get you started.
Rain Water: Collecting rain water is fairly simple and not very costly. It just requires something to catch the water in and a little help from a storm cloud. You can use anything to catch the water from a barrel to a bucket. Just whatever you have on hand. That’s the easy part. Getting help from a storm cloud may prove to be more difficult. But if you do manage to charm the cloud with a rain dance, be sure to teach the dance to us too cuz that’s one skill we haven’t mastered yet either.
Irrigation Pump: Water Pumps range in price starting around $30.00. There are all kinds of pumps available depending on your needs and watering requirements. They even have solar powered pumps if you want to be super green and conserve electricity too. Although a water pump requires a little setup and creativity, it’s a long term investment that you can use year after year.
2. Recycle and Reuse – Everything in a garden, from the plastic containers to spoiled veggies, can be recycled and/or reused in your garden. So before you toss that tomato the worm made a home in while you weren’t looking, think about starting a compost pile instead. Compost piles are a great alternative to chemically enhanced fertilizers and are fairly easy to make. Plus you can throw just about anything in a compost pile. And don’t give your slightly used containers to the trash man to discard, rinse them out and store them to plant new seedlings in next year. If you want to go an extra step, you can recycle yesterday’s newspaper and conserve water at the same time. Just fold up a couple of pages and place them under one of your containers on the patio. The paper will absorb the runoff water and allow the plant to get excess moisture when it needs it all at the same time. Or spread your old newspapers under your garden mulch. Not only will it absorb the excess water, weeds will smother underneath them.
3. Plant More – Gardening itself is green. Planting veggies, flowers, trees, and shrubs is in essence going green. And isn’t it nice to know that your love for gardening is actually just one more step to making the world a better place?
Going Green isn’t easy, but then nothing extraordinary ever is. However with a little thought and effort, pardon the age-old saying, you can make a difference. For more tips on Going Green in your Garden, visit PeachyGreen. And if you have some ideas for a Greener Garden, share them with us here. We would love to hear from you!
And remember, it’s ok to purchase a few more pretty flowers and rose bushes than what you actually need, because you’re not really purchasing them for you….you’re saving the world one plant at a time!!!