Going green to save the environment is on everyone's mind. Living with this focus daily will prevent harm and future negative environmental changes when we take part and think ahead. As we make these earth-friendly choices, we conserve energy and limit air, water, and noise pollution, improving our health. Just a little bit goes a long way! So as a home gardener, take these eco-friendly tips and instill them in your daily routines to join the movement.
Indoor Air Purifying Plants
While being inside for excessive amounts of time for work, provide yourself with clean air to breathe by purchasing air purifying plants.
Plants assimilate carbon dioxide from the air through tiny openings in the leaves called stomata. In addition, chlorophyll in the leaves absorbs radiant energy from a light source like the sun. This energy splits water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen. Sugars form through this chemistry. Hence, oxygen is a byproduct of photosynthesis, and the atmosphere is replenished with clean air to breathe.
Plants also improve indoor air quality by humidifying the air. They release water vapor as part of photosynthesis and respiration. The elimination of volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) starts at the indoor plant's leaves. The leaves will absorb these chemicals and move the substances throughout the plant. This process not only translocates to the roots but into the surrounding soil. Here they are broken down by microbes. However, on the way there, they often go through a filtration-like process. The plant's biological processes destroy them, sometimes even before reaching the soil and converting all those air pollutants into new plant tissue. As a result, the plant has several layers of filtration from the leaf down to the soil!
When receiving a plant from us, you'll notice the packaging is recyclable, but instead of pitching it in the recycling bin, use it as a weed suppressant in your gardening beds. To do this, flatten the box entirely. Then soak the paper box in a tub of water or place it in a small children's pool to help it get more pliable. Once it's absorbed, put your wet box on the ground where you want your garden bed or around existing plant material. Afterward, mulch the area to cover the boxing materials. Finally, as you plant flowers or bedding plants, use an Exacto knife to cut a hole in the box if planting.
With this simple gesture, you won't be seeing weeds for a while, and the paper box will disintegrate back into the earth where it originated from a tree. This utilization of resources keeps you from utilizing energy weeding. This also keeps your plants healthier since the weeds are not competing for water and nutrients.
Recycle the Coir
At Lively Root, we use a coir wrap to cover the soil around your plant until it gets to its destination. This coir is usually removed and tossed. Did you know you can use it for other purposes? Use the coir in our packaging as a drainage filter for containers! Or cut it up very finely and use it in your soil mix when repotting plants. Coir is a greener source to absorb water and sustainable since it is a fiber in the husk and shell of coconuts. It is a superior replacement to sphagnum peat moss which is not sustainable. Use this coir as bedding for your worm farm for making castings to enrich your soil.
Use Eco Pots for your Decorative Containers
What is UV proof, break-proof, frost-resistant, has a lifespan of over ten years, and is made of 80% recycled plastics and 20% recycled natural stone? Yes, you guessed right! Ecopots. We offer this unique Scandinavian design pot in natural colors to complement our indoor and outdoor plants. You can enjoy using these plants knowing you're making a difference for the environment by using recycled materials in the garden decor too.
Use Organic Soil Mix
What do you do with old soil mixes after repotting your plants? You either trash it or dump it in your compost pile. If it's not organic and infiltrated with synthetic fertilizers, you could be contaminating the environment. Instead, start with an organic soil mix when potting your plants, so you don't have to worry about this later. Our Sun-Gro Black Gold natural organic potting mix has all kinds of nutrients, including earthworm castings that will help nourish your plants without harming the environment later. Remember to read the label and see the ingredients in your mixes before purchasing.
Organic Fertilizer to heal the soil-John and Bobs
Soil health is a crucial ingredient to any natural ecosystem. That's why we offer John and Bob's Organic Fertilizer Optimize Plus to our repertoire of trusted products. It supports beneficial organisms that avail self-sustaining plant communities. Infuse the soil with these healthy living compounds, minerals, and microbes to regenerate residential and suburban areas where the soil has been stripped and damaged by chemical use.
3 in 1 Plant Meter
The plant meter tells you everything you want to know, from how much light is present, water needs, and pH balance in the soil. It's a great way to conserve resources and keep your plants living longer. The moisture meter will guide you to what's going on below the soil's surface and if water is needed. With water being a costly element for life, we can do our part to conserve it by checking the soil's moisture first! Finally, the pH balance meter will help indicate the pH balance. From this number, you can determine what minerals are required to release the nutrients your plants need for uptake. Keep this smart gadget handy as part of your essential garden tools.
Leftover water/drinking water/rainwater
Do you find leftover stale water in your glasses around the house or in the car you've forgotten to drink? Put it to good use and water a plant with it.
While there is a rainstorm outside, put out a bucket to collect water for tending to plants later. If you're fortunate to have room for a rain barrel, you've hit the watering jackpot.
Use Organic Pest and Fungicide Products
When you go to the pest and fungicide aisle, it can get overwhelming. So you end up just avoiding it because what are you supposed to get to help protect your plants from being eaten or combatting disease? Here is a tip we have discovered to keep in your arsenal. Our favorite to use is insecticidal soap or Neem Oil. Both can eliminate the culprits like aphids, whiteflies, spider mites, Japanese beetles, caterpillars, leafminers, and more. This product acts as an insecticide, fungicide, and miticide from fruit trees and house plants to your trees and shrubs. Neem oil comes from the seed of the evergreen Neem tree.
Cover the Ground with Plants
If you have a dry patch of soil that turns into a mud puddle when it rains and creates a muddy stream running downhill, it might be time to plant. Plant more plants to help eliminate soil erosion. Prevent surface runoff that will pollute our streams and rivers. Many native plants can soak up the water and require less maintenance to thrive. Plants you can step on, yet they still thrive, are an excellent alternative to lawns. Creeping thyme in some areas is a great lawn alternative since it gives off a pleasant scent when treaded on lightly and doesn't need grooming weekly. Succulents are another fire-proof plant that can thrive in hot, dry climates and make your garden lush.
Choose a few of these as ideas and put it on your new "eco-friendly" habits list! Then let us know on social media which one's you're implimenting!Written by: Debbie Neese