Spring is here and for many people, that means spending more time outdoors and in the garden.
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When you’re not soaking up the sunshine and getting some fresh air, you might be planting and pruning, making sure that your outdoor space looks its best for summer. Gardening is naturally an eco-friendly and sustainable activity, but whether you enjoy planting flowers or your own vegetables, there are several things that you can do to make your garden even kinder to the environment. If you are concerned about the impact of your activities on the planet and want to do what you can to be kinder to the earth, you can easily start in your own back garden. Here are some tips to help you create an eco-friendlier, more sustainable outdoor space.
Make Your Own Compost or Buy Peat-Free:
Making your own compost in a compost bin is a great way to get fertilizer for your garden for free. You can easily use food waste and other compostable materials to create your own compost; simply leave it in the bin over time, where it will break down. However, if you need to buy compost for any reason, it’s important to choose one that is peat-free. Peatlands play a key role in stabilising the carbon cycle and mitigating climate change through carbon storage. Although they take hundreds of years to form, they are often destroyed in just days for gardening use. Some alternatives to peat to consider including wood fibre, coconut fibre, and other organic matter.
If you want to create your own compost heap, you can go a step further by repurposing something that you already have to use as a compost bin rather than buying a brand new one. There are plenty of household products that you might not have much use for in the home that can easily be repurposed and put to use in your garden in creative ways.
Avoid Using Pesticides:
Stopping using pesticides in your garden is another great place to start if you want a more environmentally friendly outdoor space. The overuse of pesticides has led to a significant decline of insect populations, which has had a knock-on effect on not only the animals that feed on these insects but the ecosystem overall, which ultimately supplies us with clean air, food, and water. Instead of using pesticides, companion planting is an ideal alternative. This is a more natural method of pest control that involves growing mutually beneficial plants alongside each other. For example, carrots and leeks pair well together since carrots repel leek moths and leeks will deter carrot flies. French marigolds have a strong odour that will repel blackflies and greenflies, making them an ideal companion for several vegetables including sweetcorn, beans, and tomatoes.
Use Sustainable Decking and Fencing Materials:
Decking and fencing can add the finishing touches to your outdoor space, add privacy, and provide you with somewhere to relax on a nice day. However, decking and fencing materials can be harmful to the environment in many ways. Not only are natural materials used to create deck boards and fence panels, but they will also often require regular and ongoing maintenance that typically involves some kind of chemical treatment.
If you are looking for an eco-friendly alternative, it is worth considering the use of composite deck boards and fence panels. Ecoscape UK offers horizontal fence panels made from composite, which is a combination of hardwood sawdust and recycled plastic to create a product that is 95% recycled and, as a result, is much more sustainable compared to many other deck and fence material options. In addition, composite is also much easier to maintain and lasts for around twice as long as wood thanks to anti-rot, anti-infestation, and anti-warping properties. Because of this, composite does not require as much chemical treatment as wood and many other popular materials, helping you to reduce the amount of toxins used in your garden.
Use Sustainable Garden Furniture:
For adding those finishing touches to your outdoor space, it’s worth considering manufacturers of sustainable garden furniture. Many garden furniture sellers today are conscious about their impact on the environment and you can find garden sofas, chairs, and more that are made from materials that have been diverted from landfill and recycled instead. For example, you can get durable, luxury rattan garden furniture sets that are made from recycled polyethylene. It’s always worth investing in furniture and other products for your outdoor space that you know are making use of items that would have ended up harming the environment otherwise.
Grow Native Plants and Your Own Food:
One of the many joys of having your own garden is the ability to grow your own food. The soil in your garden can be used to grow a huge range of vegetables and even fruit trees. Potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, and many other foods can be grown at home in your own garden, which is not only better for the environment, but usually much cheaper compared to buying them from the supermarket – and they taste better. Along with growing vegetables, consider filling your garden with native wildflowers and other native plants, which tend to be more resistant to pests compared to non-native plants and will attract more bees and butterflies to your garden.
Use Solar Powered Lighting:
Finally, the right lighting can add the finishing touches to your outdoor space and provide the perfect ambiance for those summer evenings. If you want to be more environmentally friendly with your garden choices, solar-powered lighting is the best option to consider. Rather than hooking the lights up to your home’s electricity, they will gather their power from the sun throughout the day before turning on after dark. You can find solar lights for your gardens at most garden centres, homeware shops, and online shops in a wide range of styles with something to suit every garden. Not only are they better for the environment, but you’ll also save on your energy bill.
Gardening and spending time outdoors is already a sustainable activity, but could you be doing more to make your garden even more environmentally friendly?