Most people would consider gardening a relatively “green” activity. After all, gardeners put more plants in the ground and keep at least their own yards healthy and fresh. While most gardening activities are safe and even beneficial for the environment, there are still numerous products used for gardening and landscaping designs that are not so eco-friendly. From the poisonous chemicals in lawn sprays and nutrient-depleted soils that come from overuse and pollution, there are a number of ways we are actually hurting the environment with our gardening and landscaping. A few of the products gardeners and landscapers can use to be more eco-friendly are:
- Recycled Concrete – One of the biggest ways that landscaping can hurt the environment is by filling landfills with waste and the exploitation of resources. Concrete is a material commonly used in landscaping projects, from driveways and patios to other types of backyard designs. Often times old concrete is simply discarded when it is no longer needed and ends up in a landfill. Not only does this add to the already overflowing landfills across the country, but it also means that more natural resources will have to be exploited to make more concrete. By both recycling old concrete and using recycled concrete for new projects, landscapers can help reduce their impact on the environment.
- Organic Compost – Organic compost has a number of benefits for gardening, and it is something that gardeners can create themselves in their very own backyards. Rich in the nutrients needed to help plants grow, organic compost makes the best topsoil for gardening. Adding compost to soil helps to replenish soil that has been overused or polluted, and it increases the amount of land that can be used for gardening. Gardeners can create their own organic compost by making a pile of a mixture of brown and green plant matter. Brown matter consists of shredded newspapers, leaves and wood chips, while green matter is made of leftover food scraps and grass clippings.
- Natural Pesticides – Many gardeners rely on various types of pesticides to keep critters from eating their plants. While it’s ok to try to keep these critters at bay, using chemical concoctions can harm both animals, plants and the soil. Luckily, there are a number of natural pesticides gardeners can use to thwart attacks by pesky animals. For example, marigolds are a great natural pesticide that keeps deer away from a gardener’s tasty flower beds. They can simply plant rows of marigolds around other flowers to make the garden less attractive from these large pests.
Gardening is meant to help the earth, not harm it. Still, many of the products used today for gardening and landscaping hurt the environment and increase our carbon footprint. Products like recycled concrete, organic compost and natural pesticides are all just as good as other, more harmful products. By making a few changes, gardeners and landscapers can do their part to keep their activities eco-friendly. Continue your research here.