Many solutions to the problems we face are to be found in a garden. The world is changing at an unprecedented rate, we are despoiling the precious planet we call home. This World Environment Day, it’s time for all of us to make sure we are part of the solution, rather than part of the problems. Sustainable change can come in small increments, but we can all play our part. It all begins in our homes and gardens. Here are 7 ideas for an eco friendly garden:
Protect the natural water cycle and conserve water by harvesting rainwater. You can harvest rainwater from your home, your polytunnel or from other structures in your garden. Collecting rainwater is not only better for the environment, it makes for healthier plants too.
Use the Power of the Sun For An Eco Friendly Garden
Having an eco friendly garden is all about making the most of natural, renewable resources at your disposal. Sunlight is, of course, one of the most important resources we have. Make sure you make the most of the power of the sun in your garden. You can do so not only to grow plants but also to heat and light your polytunnel, both directly and perhaps also be means of generating electricity with solar panels.
Grow as Much of Your Own Food as Possible – Organically
One of the best steps you can take a live a greener, more ethical and eco friendly lifestyle is to grow at least some of your own food organically. A polytunnel can make it easier to grow more, and to grow throughout the whole year. Increasing your yield will decrease your dependency on damaging agricultural systems and can save you money and make you healthier too!
Creating compost in your garden is a great way to reduce and ultimately eliminate the organic household waste sent to landfill. Food waste contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, but when composted, it turns from a problem to a solution, providing an excellent material to help your garden grow strong.
Care for & Protect the Soil
Creating compost and adding it to your growing areas is one important way to care for the soil. Caring for the soil is crucial in an organic, eco friendly garden. You should disturb the soil ecosystem as little as possible, try not to leave soil bare, and add mulches of organic material to add nutrients to the system and keep in moisture.
Planting trees is one of the best things you can do for the environment in your garden. You can grow dwarf fruit trees inside a polytunnel to increase the range of fruits you can grow, or concentrate on planting elsewhere in your garden. Trees can benefit you, your garden and the planet in a wide range of different ways.
Create Wildlife Habitats
Another way to benefit the planet (and make your own life easier as an organic gardener) is to attract as much wildlife as possible to your garden. Create a range of habitats – brush piles, hedges, garden ponds – to attract beneficial wildlife to your space.
Elizabeth Waddington is a writer and green living consultant living in Scotland. Permaculture and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does, from designing gardens and farms around the world, to inspiring and facilitating positive change for small companies and individuals.
She also works on her own property, where she grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and is working on the eco-renovation of an old stone barn.