Climate change and its devastating effects are hot topics now more so than ever before, with seemingly every environmental phenomenon attributed to global warming, including the recent spate of sunny weather and high temperatures in the UK. As a nation, we are constantly being urged to take steps to reduce the amount of rubbish we generate, including rejecting plastic straws and utilising reusable cups in coffee shops, but is there more we can do at home? Or, more specifically, in our gardens?
Size Doesn’t Matter
According to the Royal Horticulture Society (RHS), with more than 85% of the British population living in towns and cities, our gardens make up a quarter of total urban areas in many cities, so you may be able to do more with your garden space than your realise. When it comes to cities and large towns, domestic gardens can act as air-conditioning systems. Trees and hedges can help to provide insulation during the winter months, cutting energy consumption, too. Place your evergreen shrubs and bushes carefully around your property to reduce the speed of the air movement reaching your building, but don’t stop there; all forms of plants are crucial to improving the quality of the air we breathe as they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. With vehicle usage ever increasing, plants are playing a vital part in offsetting some of the emissions automobiles are releasing.
This year, summer has been hot and dry with little rain (we went six weeks without so much as a shower in June and July. The heatwave has been greatly appreciated by many but actually hotter, drier summers could simply become the norm and this may have a detrimental effect on our gardens, which in turn will continue to affect our environment. So, what should you do? Try using a water butt to catch rainwater to use on your floral displays and lawn; this will help you minimise your mains water usage, thus helping the environment and aiding self-sufficiency. Another way to cut your water usage is by re-using any ‘grey water’ which has previously been used to wash dishes or have a bath.
Grow Your Own Vegetables
Growing your own food allows you to know that it’s free of chemicals, avoids any unnecessary packaging, and saves you money from your shopping list. It is also a fulfilling hobby and can be a fun thing for parents to do with their children.
So, while there are a lot of factors that need to be considered when trying to combat climate change, it really can start at home. If we all sorted our gardens, we could have a positive effect and help protect our planet.