Despite the advancement of our society during the Industrial Revolution, and with advances concerning our contemporary digital landscape, the carbon footprint left by global society has grown tremendously within the last 150 years. And even though this remains a contentious issue, you can still reduce your own carbon footprint using simple and effective methods.
Perhaps the easiest way you can reduce your carbon footprint begins right in your own backyard. In fact, your overall landscape design and the methods of landscaping you use can have a significant effect on the size of your own carbon footprint.
With environmental awareness becoming more popular in recent years, and with the scientific evidence that supports the need for reducing our carbon footprints, anyone who owns a property can contribute positively to the environment.
If you’re looking to adopt greener living standards, and reduce your carbon footprint in the process, the following will shed light on a few practices that you can adopt regarding your landscaping methods.
Utilizing Native Plants and Grasses
Planting native grasses, trees, shrubs, plants, and flowers is a great move when it comes to greener landscaping methods. And this is simply because native species flourish in your type of soil, and are already accustomed to local climate conditions, specifically annual rainfall.
Native plants also have deeper or more effective root systems that have evolved to flourish in your soil type. And this reduces the need for water use, as well as diminishing erosion and runoff problems that can occur with non-native species.
Further, native plants, shrubs, and flowers attract indigenous local wildlife. And these plants are better for the proliferation of native species.
For example, native bee, moth, and butterfly populations are the greatest pollinators in your ecosystem. And these critters feed better off of native plants, which allows not only their respective populations to flourish, but also promote the germination of native plants as well.
The use of natural herbicides for invasive weed growth is also a great way to help the environment out right in your own backyard. And instead of using harmful chemicals which can proliferate in the soil and harm native insects and local fauna, natural herbicides leave your soil and your local ecosystem healthy.
Invasive weeds are typically non-native species that encroach upon and ruin native plant growth. As such, you don’t want this unsightly overgrowth ruining your landscape, or stealing nutrients from your native plants.
Additionally, chemical herbicides are also highly toxic to humans. And studies have shown that overuse of chemical herbicides can cause cancer, respiratory illnesses, and many other health problems if exposure is too frequent.
Natural herbicides are actually easy to produce on your own. And a few of these methods are as follows:
- 5 percent acetic acid White Vinegar
- Boiling water
- Heat treatments
- Soap, salt, and vinegar solutions
- Lemongrass oil
- Clove oil
- Cinnamon oil
Spraying natural solutions such as those listed above on invasive weed growth can kill weeds and keep your landscape in good condition without causing yourself (or the environment) any harm.
Reducing water use is one way that we can all contribute to a healthier environment. And this also reduces your carbon footprint considerably when you make an effort to reduce water consumption on your landscape.
Water is vital to life. And believe it or not, we only have a finite amount of freshwater available on this planet. So every effort you make to reduce your consumption is good news for the environment, and for future generations as well.
A few ways you can conserve water are making use of rain barrels to catch and store water. You can use this stored rainwater to water your flowers, plants, and shrubs as needed. And you’d be surprised at how fast a rain barrel will fill up even after a moderate or light rain.
Additionally, you can also install a cistern and develop an irrigation system that uses rainwater for irrigating your landscape.
Another lagniappe for reducing water consumption is that you’ll likely lower your water bill as well. And anytime you can save a few dollars while also helping out the environment by reducing your carbon footprint, this is good news.
Carbon levels have increased exponentially just within the last 150 years. And though many people still argue about the role humans play in this rise, the fact remains that temperature rise always follows a rise in carbon levels. As such, anything you can do to reduce your carbon footprint is a positive step toward environmental health.