Five sustainable gardening tips to reduce carbon footprint during coronavirus lockdown

Climate change has been posing as a major risk to mankind. Looking towards sustainable practices, wasting less food, and incorporating more eco-friendly ways of life is sure to make a difference. Here’s how you can do your bit right at home.
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We are all well-aware of the effects climate change has on our environment - from rising sea levels and erratic weather patterns to insecurity in food supply. One of the main causes for this is the increasing carbon footprint, and the resulting emission of greenhouse gases. 

In the recent years, several steps have been taken to reduce the ecological damage caused due to climate change. A few of them are the development of electric cars, utilisation of biomass, and the use of solar energy.

Besides this, there are a slew of other lifestyle changes that can be adopted to cut down the discharge of harmful gases. One of them is sustainable gardening. Indiscriminate use of fertilisers and chemicals, extensive digging, as well as misuse of water resources do not fall in line with green collar conventions. Though gardening is an environment-friendly hobby, it can lead to a lot of disturbance if not done in a scientific manner. 

SocialStory brings to you a collection of sustainable gardening ideas you can put into effect in your terrace or backyard.



Rain barrels to the rescue

Setting up rain barrels in the garden is a simple and great way to store water, especially during summer. All you need to do is place them below an outlet where the water generally runs off, drill a hole, and finally insert a filter. Depending on the size of the green space, the amount of water to be collected can be planned for. This is sure to be very useful, especially in areas that generally receive low rainfall.

Since rainwater is not only free but clear of impurities, it is considered to be one of the most optimal sources of water for plants. 

Make your own compost 

All the organic matter produced in your kitchen can be converted into natural fertilisers through composting. This is a much better alternative to synthetic chemicals. It also aids in improving the quality and water retention of the soil. 

Compost bins are not called ‘black gold’ for nothing. It is the easiest way to process wet waste. If you do not wish to build it on your own, there are many models available both online and in retail stores. It takes a minimum of five to six days for everything in the bin to break down and decompose. 

The resultant peat-like material can either be added while potting the soil to plant seeds or as mulch to protect the plant's roots from external weather conditions. That is not all, it introduces all the beneficial microorganisms required to aerate the soil. 



Make way for recycled gardening supplies 

Recycling used materials enables us to save resources and at the same time reduces the amount of trash that reaches landfills. Hence, before you decide to go out and purchase any gardening supplies, think about some of the items you already have. For instance, mulch can be made from fallen leaves, empty toilet paper rolls or cartons can be used for indoor plants, and plastic bottles can be turned into watering cans or seedling protectors. 

Companion planting all the way

Planting a varied set of plants adds to the diversity and beauty of gardens. Besides, sowing a particular set of crops together is known to increase growth and exuberance. Plants that grow to a great height are capable of providing shade for the more sun-sensitive and shorter plants. 

Planting rose and garlic together is beneficial since the latter serves as a pest repellent, and in turn protects flowers. If radish and cucumber are sown in close proximity, the chances of beetles attacking the green vegetable becomes less.

A few other popular combinations include tomato and chives as well as carrot and spring onions. 



Welcome birds with open arms

Birds are known to serve as great protectors of nature, especially when it comes to warding off pests, snails, caterpillars, grubs, and slugs. Since they are always on the lookout for a place to make their nests, you can make it a point to place nesting boxes and bird feeders in your garden. They tend to keep dangerous weed killers and fungicides away from plants. Another way to avoid snails and slugs would be to set up eggshells or environmentally friendly slug pellets in the vicinity.

Edited by Megha Reddy

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