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Each of us can do many things to protect our environment, reduce waste and conserve resources around our homes, gardens and lawns.
Doing our part will add up to make a great difference in everything from climate change to water quality to pollution control that will affect every aspect of our lives and the lives of future generations.
What can you do?
The Environmental Protection Agency offers a number of environmentally friendly tips for your lawn and garden:
- Always try to conserve water, our most precious resource. Keep barrels in your garden to collect rain water, then use that rain water to water your plants. Make sure that you do not waste water on water hose leaks when watering plants. If you use a water sprinkler, position the sprinkler so that only the plants get all the water and none is wasted on sidewalk, street, or house. To avoid waste and water evaporation as well to prevent mold growth on plants, water only in early mornings.
- Recycle used oil and tires from your lawn and garden outdoor power equipment.
- Performing regular lawn mower maintenance tuneups and keeping your outdoor power equipment in excellent condition will extend life of equipment and reduce emissions. Replace lawn mower filter frequently. Prevent gas spills when refilling lawn mower by using a nuzzle. Use manual instead of power tools whenever you can. Never operate your gas lawn mower on Code Red days.
- Keep your lawn mower blade sharp or replace when damaged so it doesn’t pull out grass roots and do permanent damage to your lawn. To keep grass roots stronger as well as reduce weed growth, brown spots, and need for water, raise the cutting height of your lawn mower blade. Instead of bagging grass clippings leave them on your lawn because they return nutrients right back to the soil.
- Create a compost pile in your yard from grass trimmings, leafs, vegetable and fruit scraps and other organic waste and add to your garden soil after it decomposes. Rich healthy soil decreases erosion, helps soil with water retention, and replaces the need for harmful chemical fertilizers.
- Shred wood and leaf waste from your garden into chips, but make sure that it wasn’t treated with chemicals. Use the wood chips to mulch your garden and prevent weed growth. Chips also regulate soil temperature, help retain moisture, and add rich nutrients back to the soil.
- Whenever you can, use recycled gardening equipment and tools. Seek out these kinds of products: garden hoses produced from old tires, stepping stones created from glass bottles, garden tools made from recycled plastic, plastic lumber made from recycled plastic bottles or bags made into flower beds, trellises or decks.
- Many plants and insects are natural, non-toxic deterrents to weeds and garden pests. For example, ladybugs eat aphids, marigolds deter beetles, and a number of quick-sprouting plants stymie weed growth.
- Have a beautiful garden and a wonderful summer!