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Reduce your footprint – plant your backyard

18 Mar 2015

We often hear about the need to reduce our carbon footprint and be green. But how can we, as individuals, do our part to help? Thinking about your plant selection and surrounding habitat, recycling, composting and conserving water all help reduce your carbon footprint and improve your garden, so we all win. Nursery & Garden Industry New Zealand has these 10 tips:

1) When planting go fusion. Include a few natives to enhance your garden. Natives are an easy way to make your backyard both water smart and beautiful.

2) Grow your own fruit and veges. Not only do they taste better, they haven’t flown across the country or world in some cases, to get to your table.

3) Plant more green life. Plants improve your air quality. Plants help remove carbon from the atmosphere and produce oxygen for us to breathe.

4) Plant deciduous trees. They’ll provide shade in summer and, when the leaves drop in winter, will let the sun though providing natural heating.

5) Flora for fauna. Make native animals, birds and insects feel at home in your garden. Watching native fauna enjoy your garden is a great way to relax.

6) Keep your pets flora friendly too. Train your pets to stay off certain areas of your garden, but be sure to provide them with a play area and some shade.

7) Compost! Last night’s dinner, mixed with garden clippings, could bring life to your garden. Composting is a great way to reduce waste and improve your soil. Think of compost as free mulch!

8) Save your energy. An eight-metre tree reduces heating and cooling costs by at least 8-12% per annum. So get planting now for the future savings.

9) Be wise about water. Only water when and where your garden needs it. Group pot plants by water needs so as to not over-water them.
 Nurture your soil. Healthy soils hold more water and are the building blocks of a great garden. Compost and mulch are your natural solutions.

This coming Easter is a great time to get out in your garden and see what you can do to make the most of it.

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Read more: Forget air con – plant more trees

Published: 18 Mar 2015