As a novice to the world of gardening, knowing how best to limit your impact on the environment
can be difficult, especially when most common knowledge practices don’t take sustainability into
account. Fortunately, while the idea of going green is usually associated with privilege and
access to a wider variety of resources, going green can be a simple, inexpensive process.
Moreover, going green can actually save you money and have significant benefits for your
health, as green gardeners tend to use less resources and cut out market-lauded, chemically
unsafe solutions to common maintenance issues.
Interested in learning more? Here are a few accessible options, ranging in both simplicity and
cost, that you can adopt to reduce your impact on the environment and leave yourself (and your
garden) feeling happier and healthier.
1. Collecting Rainwater
For the low, low cost of scrounging about in your garage for a container that’s large enough, you
can seriously cut down on the amount of wastewater you produce. While the size of the
container and the mileage you get out of this method will likely vary depending on where you
live and what your space constraints are, something as simple as putting a plastic container out
when it rains and using the rainwater to feed plants can drastically cut down on overall water
2. Organic Alternatives to Herbicides
Feel like saving yourself an extra $13 next time you go to the market, as well as a trip to the
emergency room when you’re 60? Cutting harmful chemical herbicides like Roundup out of your
gardening process can save you both money and from developing cancers later on in life. The
main chemical in Roundup, known as glyphosate, has been identified as a potential carcinogen,
and the number of lawsuits won against Monsanto after people have developed non-Hodgkins
lymphoma would tend to corroborate that claim.
Fortunately, you can fill the vacancy left by chemical herbicides with any number of homemade mixtures, including rubbing alcohol and water or vinegar and dish soap. However, if you don’t
feel like mixing a herbicide at home, you can always purchase an organic herbicide at your local
3. Install a Drip Irrigation System
There can be a lot of guesswork involved for gardening novices when it comes to watering new
varieties of plants, increasing the risk that they use more water than necessary and produce
more wastewater in the process. A solid way to avoid this mistake is to install a drip irrigation
system, which slowly and consistently feeds your plants the exact amount of water they need to
survive. While a little more work-intensive than some of the other methods on this list, installing
a drip irrigation system can save you gallons of wastewater and likely quite a bit of money on
your next water bill as well.
4. Explore Green Technology Options
Even for gardeners on a budget, green technology can provide simple, effective solutions to a
multitude of problems faced by the average person. Things like cheap hydroponic gardening kits
eliminate the need for potting soil and chemical-laden fertilizers, as well as allowing you to grow
plants inside, while gadgets like stick monitors can measure the amount of water present in your
soil and tell you if you’re over-watering your plants. There are even machines on the market that
function like lawnmowing Roombas (battery-powered lawnmowers that cut your grass without
your assistance while cutting down on fossil fuel usage).
Do some research on green technology; you’ll likely find that there’s tech out there that will suit
Going Green Just Got Easier
The way we’ve been living is no longer sustainable, and if we don’t make an effort to change
course and live more sustainably, it’s all but ensured that future generations will suffer the
consequences of our inaction. Even now, with the United Nations warning of potentially
devastating climate changes within the next few decades, it may already be too late; and yet our
actions still matter.
Whatever you choose to do to reduce your impact on the environment, doing something is far,
far better than doing nothing: and keeping the future bright for our kids and their kids after them
is more than worth the effort.