Green Your New Year with Gardening
It’s 2011, the resolutions to drink less, to go to the gym, to sort out your finances, to be nicer to your partner have been made. But what about your promises to the Earth? We all need to take responsibility for the footprint that we leave on this great planet, whether for our own lives or the generations who follow. And by all collectively making a few, small, ecologically friendly New Years resolutions, 2011 is a great year to give a bit of love back to Mother Nature.
There are a vast number of ways in which we can become that little more environmentally conscious. It doesn’t have to be a huge life changing resolution that will drastically alter your life and the way your live it. In fact, by making a few green changes here and there you could in fact find that your resolutions leave you feeling rather happier and more motivated than you ever were before.
1. 1. Grow Your Own
This often leaves many with a quaking fear in their heart, ‘growing my own? How will I ever manage?” But it doesn’t have to be a huge farm-worthy undertaking. You don’t have to strive to become self sufficient. You simply have to try and grow a few crops at home. Herbs are one of the easiest plants to grow, and will thrive as long as they’re snipped and used in the kitchen. Tomato varieties can be easily grown in hanging baskets, whilst cut-and-come-again salad crops can last all season. As your interest grows you can grow more and more, but just growing one small food source from home is a great start to green 2011.
2. Become a Guerrilla Gardener
For those who are feeling a little rebellious, who want to make a vivid impact in their community, and who don’t mind scampering around in the twilight hours planting seeds and plants, guerrilla gardening is ideal. The concept start in the 1970’s in New York where a group of gardeners set about turning some wasteland into a beautiful oasis. It doesn’t have to be big. It doesn’t have to be expensive. But if there is a flowerbed, tree pit, or roadside verge near you in dire need of a spruce up, planting a few flowers and seeds, and tending them throughout the year will not only cheer the community but will make you smile every time you walk past it.
3. Save Water
Whether you’re a gardener or not, saving water is essential as climates change and urban areas become increasingly covered in concrete. As a gardener, large amounts of water can be used to quench plant’s thirst. Install a water butt to collect rainwater, or contemplate reducing lawns and changing planting to more drought tolerant planting. Meanwhile water can be saved in the home by simply reducing waste, turning off taps, and installing products such as ‘Hippo’ in toilets.
4. Natural Air Conditioning
Researchers in Delhi have created a natural air filtration system comprising of plants which suppress pollutants and create lots of fresh, clean oxygen. In theory these plants in specific numbers could supply all the fresh air that humans ever needed. Money Plants, Areca Palms, and Mother-in-Law’s Tongue are all tipped as the top plants for doing the job. Whilst creating a jungle in your living room isn’t realistically feasible, it’d be nice to have a few green friends. Splash out, get a few house plants, and watch them lift your mood and your health in true Mother Nature style.
There’s no need to make drastic resolutions that you’ll never be able to stick to. Becoming instantly self sufficient will never succeed and will leave you feeling overworked and stressed. Growing a few pots of herbs and salad crops however, will offer fresh food and a feeling of wellbeing. So if there’s one resolution to make this year, it should be to give something back to Earth and reduce your carbon footprint.