Posts tagged ‘going green’
Collectively, Americans spend about $40 billion annually on lawn care including grass seed, sod, and synthetic chemicals. Much of the money we spend on our lawn cares goes towards products that “help” grass only in the most superficial ways and that actually degrade the soil underneath, pollute our drinking water and lakes through contaminated runoff, and can pose serious health threats to pets and wildlife in the area, including birds.*
However, maintaining a pristine lawn doesn’t have to be harsh on our wallets or on the environment. There are other options for caring for our yards that can be more cost-effective and help our communities avoid many of the negative environmental impacts of overspreading synthetic chemicals, for example.
Chemical fertilizers typically contain high levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other elements that can help grow strong grass and grass roots, but too much of a good thing can be bad. In fact, when we overspread fertilizer on our yards, 40-60% of this fertilizer can ultimately leach away and pollute our ground water and have the potential to eventually reach and pollute our precious lakes. This spring, consider spreading less fertilizer than in previous years and less than might be recommended by the lawn care product company. If necessary, add water-insoluble organic fertilizers and do not fertilize your lawn when there is heavy rain in the forecast, in order to prevent extra runoff.
Additionally, leaving grass clippings on your lawn after mowing can add nitrogen back into the ground through the natural breaking-down of the clippings. Similarly, allowing plants like clover to grow in your yard in addition to grass can help prevent erosion, smother weeds, and clover also naturally fixes nitrogen in the soil, reducing the need for fertilizer application.#
image credit: http://pureella.com/green-spring-cleaning-tips/
It’s that time of year again; time to get started on your annual spring cleaning. No matter what your spring cleaning project may be, here are some tips to get you started on not simply spring cleaning, but green, spring cleaning that is good for you, your home, and the planet.
Most importantly, when cleaning-up or cleaning-out, we should keep in mind the after effects of our actions. For example, scrubbing the counters with harsh chemicals and massive amounts of paper towels will leave our kitchen full of toxic chemical fumes and a ton of waste. Instead consider wiping down the counters with a mixture of vinegar and baking soda using a reusable cloth. Similarly, if cleaning-out and getting rid of things is your priority this spring, don’t just throw items in the trash. Instead consider making something out of that “junk” or putting those old clothes and toys together as a donation to your local Resale Shop or host a garage sale to find your used items a new home. One person’s trash can be another person’s treasure.
Ultimately, neither spring cleaning-out nor spring cleaning-up need adversely affect the environment or your family by adding waste to landfills or toxins to the air. Instead, consider how the spring cleaning choices you make in your own home actually have the potential to be Earth-friendly.
Check out these sites for more information: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/wellness_articles.asp?id=1073
Spring is almost here, and that has many of us thinking about ways to make our homes greener when the weather takes a turn for the better!
These days, one of the best ways to keep up on the latest in green home ideas is to keep tabs on the myriad of blogs on the subject. If you are like me and have no idea where to even begin sometimes, check out this blog from re-nest, a green design blog, entitled, “The Homies: Best Green Home Blog of 2011.” Re-nest polled its readers to determine the best of a strong group of blogs that included A Way To Garden, Baby Green, Frugal Kiwi, Pretty Little Things, and The Design Confidential, with A Way To Garden coming out on top.
A Way to Garden is pretty cool. Author Margaret Roach has a ton of advice for current or aspiring gardeners trying to make their homes (and in turn, their lives) more sustainable. This includes posts about tools, techniques, and strategies for getting the most out of your organic garden, as well as recipes for what to do with the food you grow. It’s a great resource for trying to Live Green.
Check out some of the other blogs as well! You never know when you will see something that inspires you to make the most of the coming spring and turn your home green.