Imagine your garden five years from now? The veggie patch is going stronger than ever, the compost is rotting just nicely and the residue from all those herbicides you used in the last century has finally dissipated. Going green wasn’t as hard as you thought…
Or, would the picture look very similar to today? Even though you started out with the very best of intentions, achieving ‘GREEN-ness’ just seemed a little out of reach. While you did try natural pesticides their success was very limited and short-lived. You’re left wondering whether your paranoia levels have increased but you swear that your exotics have now become the biggest target to every critter that ever lived.
It amuses me somewhat, the effort that organisers of LIVE EARTH, EARTH DAY and EARTH HOUR are going to when honestly, it all comes back to us…the individual. We can make commitments, evangelise our friends, sit in the dark for an hour – I’m sure we’ve been kept in the dark longer than that – and spruik the many virtues of going green but unless we DO we’ve got a swallow’s fart chance of improving this world we call home.
What are we missing? Measurement!
We talk about what we will DO but very rarely communicate what we have DONE. We fail to keep ourselves accountable to the “THIS-IS-WHAT-I-WILL-DO” statements we brandish at dinner parties.
To get the ball rolling here’s a list of things I plan to achieve in my quest to GO GREEN within the next 5 years.
- Reduce my lawn by half (currently 275 sq.m) and replace with some paving and substitute groundcovers
- Replace my gas guzzling mower with a manual-powered alternative
- Start my backyard aquaponics setup
- Replace many of my cottage plants with drought-tolerant alternatives and/or veggies
- Replace 90% of my exotics with indigenous plant species
- Plant 2 more fruit trees
- Use only my own compost for potting mix, mulch, soil improver and fertilisers
- Watch “An Inconvenient Truth” without gagging
and here’s what I’ve done so far;
- Created a 3 bin compost system for dealing with garden and kitchen refuse
- Proactively discarded and not used synthetic herbicides and pesticides in the past 5 years
- Planted more indigenous species to encourage birds, butterflies and other helpful insects into the garden as natural pest controls
- Used only cloth gloves – which are later composted – rather than synthetic fabrics
- Reduced my watering to more acceptable levels
- Bought most of our landscaping materials as recycled rather than purchase new
Not bad but still a long way from where I would like to be.
So, how are you going? Is your garden getting GREEN-er and will it be more organic in 5 years time? Are you making changes now that will impact your garden for the future and make it not only more green but more sustainable as well?
Tips and Helps for Going Green
Here are some resources (aff.) that may even help you in your quest for going green;
- 50 Plus One Tips for Going Green – Alicia Marie Smith
- Living Green: A Practical Guide to Simple Sustainability – Greg Horn
- It’s Easy Being Green: A Handbook for Earth-Friendly Living – Crissy Trask
- The Green Book: The Everyday Guide to Saving the Planet One Simple Step at a Time – Elizabeth Rogers, Thomas M. Kostigen