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Just kidding...or am I?😉
A zero waste lifestyle doesn’t simply end with our physical trash that we put into landfills or the environment. That’s only the beginning. Our waste can be thought of as...well, anything that’s going to waste!
And being that we learned about all the waste going into a manicured grass lawn, we have yet another opportunity to mitigate our waste, improve our impact, and reduce our footprint on the earth!
🐝Plus like, save the bees right?🐝
Let’s dig in to some ways we can make our yard space (if we have any) better for the earth, and maybe even us!
As we learned in the previous post, nature never likes just one species of plant (or animals) in a given area. It prefers, and even requires, diversity.🐰🌼
This, at the end of the day, is the underlying cause to a lot of the footprint associated with lawns and other monoculture-d land like farms.
If you already have a sprinkler system in your yard, this one can be rather simple! Just find some plant species native to your area and start planting. It helps to choose plants that contribute to each other's health, so maybe look into that as well.
Another plus, is if the plant is especially useful to the natural world like pollinators, habitat, or food!
And speaking of food…
Remember back when we talked about how massive the footprint of food is? We learned food requires land, water, and energy, just to grow it. And the more food is grown in unsustainable ways the worse for the planet it is.
Also too, there is a whole other footprint associated with shipping said food. So what if we could get rid of the shipping and just grow it in our yard!? All while growing it in a more sustainable way, while using space that would otherwise be grass.
🥑Much like native plants, the food that is easy to grow is highly dependent on the area you are in. Plug a simple search as to what grows well in your area, start putting soil down, and start planting!🥬
Or, if that sounds like too much work, don’t forget you can always start with just a couple plants, or...
You’d be surprised how many people know how to grow food really well, the problem is finding land to grow it on. 🏙Especially in cities where it is scarce, or areas where it’s too expensive.
Your lawn could be turned into a beautiful food garden that feeds the community for free, or you can even get paid. Payment could be in the form of money...or simply fresh fruits and veggies. Yum!
This one is probably the easiest, and dare I say most eco friendly even.🌎 You know all those seeds and leaves blowing all over the place? Well that’s nature’s way of building soil and planting new plants.🌱
All we really have to do is leave our yards the heck alone and they will begin returning to nature.
The first things that will often pop up are probably weeds. Let them grow!
Next you may even begin to see little trees start sprouting up, that is if there are trees in your area. Let them grow too!
If you want, you can start to grow a forest even quicker by plucking the weeds and grass around the trees. This helps them gain an edge and not compete with other plants as much. Or you can even plant some tiny saplings. Just keep the water going if they look like they need it.🌳
You can also of course throw seeds down that you want to see grow in the yard. Remember, pollinators are in dire need of 🌼🌸wildflowers so throw some of those. Just make sure they are native to the area!
There is a pretty cool movement starting called We Are The Ark. It was started by Mary Reynolds, a wild landscape gardener who realized the best way to green our space is to let nature do what it wants. So go ahead and Build an Ark! We don’t have to do this to our entire yard, maybe just a small part. But the bees and butterflies will thank you!🤗
For those of us who have yard space, we have quite a few options to make them more eco friendly. And the best part is none of these options have to be an all or nothing sort of thing. We can just do a little bit of one thing, or a little bit of everything!
Maybe these blog posts are starting to sound like a broken record, but our yards must work for us if we want them to be truly sustainable. And heck, if that looks like mostly grass with a patch of an “ark” then so be it. Or, if it is a full blown forest that is hosting all sorts of species, then so be it!🌲☘️
We can make these changes as easy or as difficult as we want. But it’s up to us to decide what level of work we are willing to put in to receive a certain reward.🏆
Here’s to real green space, yay!🌿
Written by Aaron Burr
A writer dedicated to working solely with companies on a mission to help the earth and people on it.