The use of chemicals and fertilizers in the lawn and garden has a huge environmental impact and may also affect the delicate ecosystem. Always check the forecast prior to application. A heavy rain following treatment will quickly wash your efforts and dollars away. Follow manufacturers’ mixing and application instructions and spray when there is no wind. Check with multiple sources for advice and recommendations. Always think “less is more” when considering the use of chemicals. Insecticides not only kill the particular insect you are targeting, but also kill beneficial insects and wildlife, disturbing the natural balance. If spraying is required, doing so at dusk when insects and wildlife are not active will greatly reduce the residual damage. Perhaps consider that some damage to your plants is acceptable, and only treat in extreme cases.
GREEN TIP #4- Create A sustainable landscape
Creating a growing landscape adds mature beauty and substance to areas that have been deforested by overdevelopment. The sustainable garden is about proper selection, soil preparation, planting and mulching techniques to insure the trees and shrubs you plant today will be alive and well for generations to come. Using drip irrigation or soaker hoses around trees and shrubs reduces water consumption and actually protects plant health by watering the roots instead of wetting foliage. Xeriscaping is a planting technique of clustering plants with similar watering needs to reduce consumption. Refocusing on native and drought tolerant plants further reduces environmental drain.
In our unpredictable world, many people are choosing to empower themselves any way they can. One of those choices is to grow your own food. Planting, tending, and harvesting your crop are great family activities, and take the concept of “use local” to the extreme. No doubt it is hard work, but getting in the dirt not only feeds the palate, but somehow also feeds the soul. Sometimes there is so much harvest it can be canned, blanched and frozen, or shared with family and friends. And don’t worry too much if there is a bug or two. Your plants and veggies probably won’t look perfect, but when you take that first bite, nothing else matters. If you find you must you use insecticides or other chemicals, do so cautiously and note “days to harvest.”
Most of us spend in excess of 90% of our time indoors. Consequently, air quality and surface materials are of primary importance. Materials such as paints, cabinets, flooring, wall coverings, can release odors from volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. There are green alternatives containing low VOCs. To further enhance indoor air quality, choose earth friendly detergents and cleaners, or even make your own from ordinary household ingredients. Home energy use can be curbed with the use of on-demand water heaters, “Energy Star” rated appliances, heating and cooling, lighting and home electronics.