Long before the “green” movement became cool, us home vegetable gardeners were already taking steps that reduce carbon emissions, add less to landfills and contribute to a more healthy lifestyle. Now that you have taken the step to go a little more green yourself, you can relax and know that you can small things without breaking the bank.
Before you drop a hundred grand on solar panels, or decide to erect a wind farm in your backyard, or go out a buy that two door spec that gets fifty miles to the gallon, let’s start with what you can do right now to reduce your carbon footprint without spending any extra money that may not have. Most of the time the best solutions, are the simple ones that are right in front of you.
Start with the basic recycling of your food waste. This is about as basic as it gets. You simply take your food waste and bury it about 18 inches below the surface in your garden. By doing this you are replenishing your soil with nutrients by feeding the underlying ecosystem with organic material. They ingest your food scraps and turn it into compost. Second, by not putting your food scraps in the trash you are eliminating landfill space being taken up. Total cost to you, zero, so you are ahead of the game and the benefits of recycling your food waste is tremendous.
Next, grow your favorite vegetables. It doesn’t matter if you have a traditional garden, a raised bed garden or you simply grow plants out of pots. By growing the vegetables you love to eat it and having that ability to prepare them in your own kitchen at a moment’s notice has been shown to reduce drive time to restaurants and supermarkets. That helps reduce the amount of fuel you use in your car. Far fetched? Hardly! Studies have shown that if people have food on hand they are less likely to go out. Throw in learning the art of canning or preserving your vegetable harvest and you can have vegetables all year round grown right from your own backyard.
You can also harvest rain water through the use of a rain barrel eliminating the amount of water you use to water your vegetable plants. A rain barrel can be anything that holds water. It can be a plastic container, a garbage can and so on. Just make sure you drill a hole to add a spigot so you can use the water by filling up a watering can or getting even more advanced and attach a garden hose. All you do is divert the water from your homes down spouts into your barrel and Everytime it rains you reduce the amount of water your are taking from the municipal supply.
Home vegetable gardeners have been using green techniques for years and long before the “green” revolution. So before you spend a lot of money on trendy “green” things, start off small with the things you can do in your own backyard to reduce your carbon footprint.
About the Author
Mike is the author of the book Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person: A guide to vegetable gardening for the rest of us, available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and where ever gardening books are sold. He can be reached at his website: AveragePersonGardening.com where you can sign up for his free newsletter and he will send you a pack of vegetable seeds to get your home vegetable garden started.