We might see native ranges of plants move northward – imagine state trees no longer growing in their home state. Without the killing effects of a cold winter, pests and diseases might be more widespread. Weeds and invasive species such as kudzu have the potential of broadening their range. Meteorologists tell us to expect severe weather such as droughts, heavy rainfalls and floods to become pronounced.
Your home garden is an ideal setting in which to practice good stewardship of our planet and help lessen some of the harm of global warming. Consider these steps:
Use Hand- or Electric-powered Tools
Gas-powered equipment, such as lawnmowers and string trimmers, contributes greatly to the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Running a conventional lawnmower for an hour pollutes the air as much as driving a car 100 miles. Consider replacing this equipment with electric-powered products or hand tools.
Grow a Diversity of Plants
Global warming also affects pollinating insects and birds. To help them cope with the changing environment, plant a diversity of flowering plants – especially native plants – that flower, fruit and provide shelter many months of the year.
Reduce Water Consumption
Droughts are already becoming more widespread across the country. To help reduce the water needs of lawns and gardens, install energy-efficient sprinklers and drip irrigation. Also, plant drought-resistant plants, mulch trees and shrubs to conserve soil moisture, and collect rain water in barrels to be used in the garden.
Trees are nature’s carbon reservoirs. In areas that are seldom used or where grass doesn’t grow well, consider planting native trees. Instead of planting more grass or even ground cover in an area on the north side of the house where lawn grass struggles, turn the area into a small forest for wildlife to enjoy.
Landscape to Conserve Energy
Consider using landscaping ideas that conserve energy and reduce pollution. Plant deciduous shade trees on the south side of your house to keep the house cooler in summer yet warmer in winter when all the leaves have dropped. Build a rain garden to collect storm water runoff instead of letting it run into the sewage.
Plant a food garden, or at least buy as much locally produced food as possible. By growing your own food and buying it locally, you’re reducing the amount of fossil fuels needed to ship the produce long distances.
– Courtesy of Family Features