Ever wondered how much “nature”, eco-footprint, is required to support your lifestyle choices?
The average American has a total ecological footprint of about 25 acres, meaning if everyone consumed similar to an average American, we would require several additional Earths to support our lifestyles. So, the question is “Are you too big for your boots, your eco-footprint?”
As gardeners, we not only have the opportunity to make eco differences related to personal choices but influence the use of green space, both rural and urban. So, advocate the conservation of water. Not just the quantity, but source. For example, try capturing and using condensation from your air-conditioning unit for watering container plants.
- Choose native or native adaptable plants. Usually a native plant is the right plant in the right place which avoids numerous other site specific issues.
- Avoid using additive materials, such as peat, which are not a sustainable resource; in other words, once harvested the material does not regenerate itself.
- Create compost. Be aware that creating compost is neither a difficult or smelly task; and once you get into the cycle of creating compost; it is an excellent use of what would otherwise be considered garden and/or kitchen rubbish.
- Choose biodegradable products. For a number of years, ink on printed materials has no longer been toxic and these materials make excellent underlying mulch blankets that more importantly biodegrade.
- Avoid the use of chemicals. Install companion plants, create diversity, encourage beneficial visitors and perhaps, you too will be pleasantly surprised by the lack of unwanted garden guests.
- Avoid creating pristine orderly green spaces. In the wake of recent central Virginia’s storms, thousands of trees fell many Virginians, continue to clean up, but forunately, a fallen tree provides a habitat for up to 300 years.
- Consider the source of landscape accessories. Select products made from recycled materials; for example, choose pavers material that is not only recycled but permeated, to prevent water run-off.
- When you light up your space, do it with solar fixtures. Solar lighting is a frugal form of energy consumption, and is easily installed.
On the scale of an eco-footprint measurement, are you a novice or warrior? Have you chosen to make personal eco-friendly choices? And, perhaps more importantly, do you influence others to share your eco values?
As gardeners, we not only have the opportunity to make a difference but can influence others through our use of green space, both rural and urban. For additional tips and strategies, visit www.TheWrightScoop.com.