Increasing numbers of people are choosing to live a more sustainable life these days. In particular, many homeowners are keen to find ways to cut back on household waste. A key motivating factor is the vast number of goods that end up in landfill each day. In fact, TheWorldCounts.com reports that over 50 tons of household waste is thrown out every second. What’s even more concerning is that this number is headed towards double that by the year 2030.
If you’re ready to find new ways to reduce your family’s consumption, remember that this job extends outside of your house, too. While it’s vital to find more eco-living solutions inside, do pay attention to your yard. There are multiple ways to reduce wastage related to gardens that you can start implementing this summer.
Reduce Plant Purchases
First up, restrain yourself when it comes to plant purchases. It’s tempting to keep buying greenery when you’re a green thumb and spot things that look pretty or interesting, but if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll probably admit that your garden has plenty in it already.
If you do need more, consider digging up and dividing some of your perennial plants so you increase their number. You might also want to trade bulbs and cuttings with family, friends, or other gardeners. If you all swap varieties, you’ll end up with a good mixture without having to buy from the shops and contributing to waste, particularly when it comes to the plastic pots plants come in.
These pots end up in landfill and don’t break down, so anything you can do to lessen this load is a good thing. Plus, if you do still end up with some containers each year, at recycle them where possible, or reuse them for other things, such as planting seedlings.
Keep Tools in Good Condition
Another good way to reduce wastage in your garden is to work on maintaining your tools. Keep them in better order, and they’ll last longer. In turn, you won’t have to keep buying new items. Store your gardening equipment correctly, out of the weather, and oil and/or sharpen items as needed throughout the year.
Try to avoid buying new tools unless you have to. For equipment you only need to use once or twice, you’ll likely have a friend or family member who has what you need and will loan it to you. Alternatively, rent tools from local nurseries or other suppliers. When you do believe it’s time to add to your collection, choose secondhand options at garage sales or op shops.
Compost and Mulch
Reduce wastage by setting up a compost heap in your yard. A variety of kitchen and other household scraps can go in the compost (including coffee beans, shredded paper, tea bags, eggshells, and fruit and veg), rather than being trucked off to landfill. Also, once you get all the materials breaking down into fresh organic compost, you can use this to fertilize your garden and lawn. This means you don’t have to go out and buy packaged feed.
Mulch is another handy item in the yard, as it helps plants to retain water and stay healthy. Avoid the wastage you’d get from buying mulch elsewhere by taking advantage of the materials you already have at home. For example, utilize shredded paper, spark bark chips, and grass clippings and leaves.
If you outsource your lawn mowing to a gardener, ask them to leave the clippings for you so you can repurpose them around your yard. If you need to hire someone for this task, search online for a flexible ‘lawn service near me.’ Most landscapers and gardeners are fine with putting grass and leaf clippings on gardens rather than taking them to the garbage dump, as this saves them disposal fees.
If your family is like most, you probably throw out significant amounts of food annually. In particular, it’s common for fruit, vegetables, and herbs to be put in the bin because they’ve gone bad or lost their freshness too quickly.
To reduce this kind of wastage, consider growing produce. That way, you can pick what you need each day, and leave the rest on the plant. Not only does this mean less food wastage, but you’ll also have a lot less plastic and other packaging to throw away.
Don’t stress if you don’t have a big backyard, either. You don’t need a huge area of land to set up a veggie patch. You can also use pots since many things thrive perfectly well in containers as long as they get a bit of TLC.
Reducing wastage is an excellent priority to have for the summer months. It doesn’t have to cause you stress or take up a lot of time and energy. By simply making a few small changes to your routine, you’ll soon notice your bin has more room in it each week.