5 Small Ways to Make a BIG Difference
The history behind Earth Day is an interesting story. The first Earth Day celebration took place in 1970 uniting more than 20 million participants from colleges and universities, primary and secondary schools and hundreds of communities throughout the United States in the common mission of environmental reform.
Today, Earth Day is now known as “the largest secular holiday in the world” and is celebrated in more than 192 countries with participation from 1 billion people each year! This annual event is a wonderful time to take a step back from our accustomed modern-day lives and remind ourselves of the importance of environmental protection and how we can each play an important role in protecting our Earth.
Want to help? Here are a 5 simple things you can do in your home gardening practices year-round that can make a BIG difference!
Earth Day Tip #1: Buy plants with biodegradable pots
A simple, yet often forgotten method of sustainability are biodegradable pots. Our day-to-day containers are just simply not good for the environment. Plastics and papers can end up in landfills when not properly recycled or reused. Even worse, these items out live humans and exist in the environment for thousands of years, where they indefinitely become harmful to nature and wildlife.
What can you do? Biodegradable pots are available in your local nursery and garden centers. Natural, hygienic and fully biodegradable, these pots can be planted right along with your plants and flowers!
Earth Day Tip #2: Conserve Water where possible (harvest rainwater)
There are many ways to conserve water resources by harvesting rainwater, from more sophisticated methods to simple and inexpensive ways.
What can you do? Divert rainfall from its journey into the storm drains by this simple method: Connect a barrel with pipes through the gutters on your roof to collect this supplemental water that normally goes to waste and use it to water indoor plants and landscaping during times of low rainfall!
Earth Day Tip #3: Support Local Farmers
This is an easy one; every city has local farmers markets. The food found at a local farmers market is not only better for you and the environment, it is often less expensive than the grocery store! In addition, this food aids in the support local families whose main source of income is their farm.
What can you do? Simply shop at your local Farmers Market! Local food markets use less electricity than traditional grocery stores and typically utilize the natural outdoor areas to showcase products to shoppers. These markets also help build a community and is a great activity for families to enjoy together that promotes overall health and wellbeing.
Earth Day Tip #4: Use Native and Indigenous plants
Landscaping with native wildflowers and grasses can help improve the environment. How you ask? These are the plants native to your environment and thrive in the climate that naturally exists. These plants reduce maintenance of water and more importantly, decrease the need for herbicides and pesticides.
What can you do? Ask your local garden center what plants are best for your area, thereby reducing the natural resources and herbicides and pesticides needed.
Earth Day Tip #5: Attract birds and friendly bugs
Did you know? Naturally attracting beneficial garden bugs and birds is a great way to avoid the use of pesticides that may be dangerous to the environment and our overall health. These creatures create a wonderful balance in your garden and often eliminate the unwanted types of bugs in your garden that cause the most damage.
What can you do? At BGI, we suggest creating a backyard bird-friendly habitat with a variety of plants, trees, vines and shrubs that create a variety of food offerings. This will also provide a place where birds can take comfort. Visit your local garden center to check out the options available for attracting the desired birds and bugs.