Eight Eco-Friendly Lawn and Garden Resolutions

January 5, 2011 Two comments View all articles in Lawn and Garden

It's hard knowing where to begin when you want to reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a greener planet. But the areas that can always use more attention are the lawn and garden. With the following tips, you'll not only find it easier to be extra-good to the environment, you'll also find your eco-friendly resolutions all the more achievable.


  • Plant Stra-tree-gically . Did you know planting trees in strategic locations around your yard can reduce your energy bills? A windscreen of evergreens on the northwest side of your house, for example, will block winter winds. And positioning your air conditioner on the north side of your house and then shading it with a tree, or planting large shade trees on the east and west sides of your house, will block out summer sun, keep your house cooler, and reduce energy use.
  • Retool your Garden Tools. Resolve to upgrade your garden tools with eco-friendly alternatives. Replace your gas-burning power tools with low-emission propane (which is greener than gasoline powered), electric/rechargeable/solar, or manual. And instead of using cheap plastic hand tools, choose high quality wood and steel tools that will last a lifetime.
  • Holy eco-friendly mosquito killer, Batman! Did you know bats can eat between 500 to 1,000 mosquitoes per hour? This means instead of using a harsh chemical fogger or dowsing yourself with insect repellent every time you go in your yard or garden, you can simply build a bat house. Or buy one online for $30. You won't see these nocturnal creatures at work, but brown bats are the best natural pest controllers you can invite into your backyard. Bat Conservation International offers some information on installing a bathouse and more specifically on attracting bats to your bathouse.
  • Mulch Ado About Gardening. If you've taken our articles on treecycling to heart, you've put your Christmas tree in the chipper and now have plenty of mulch for your lawn and garden. When used in the winter, mulch protects your plants from frost and insulates them during the cold months. In the spring and summer, it regulates soil temperature, controls weeds, and prevents water loss on hot, humid days.
  • Get Growing! Even if you don't have room to plant an entire vegetable garden in your backyard, you can incorporate edible plants into your landscape (such as rosemary or blueberry bushes) or even just grow one tomato plant in a container on your patio. You can also start a community garden and grow vegetables with the people in your neighborhood. Organic, locally-grown, seasonal food is healthier, cheaper, and reduces the fossil fuels required to transport commercially grown produce. Home-grown produce also happens to taste better.
  • Yo Ho Ho and a Barrel of Rain. Water your garden and save on your utility bill by installing a rain barrel. You just have to hook it up to a gutter downspout and all the water that normally goes into the storm drain is saved for using in your garden. That's hundreds of gallons of water that's not only free but also much healthier for your garden because it has less chlorine and salt than treated tap water.
  • Tumble your Compost? Revamp your boring old compost pile with a compost tumbler. It stands at waist-height and lets you tumble waste and turn it into compost after only 3 to 4 weeks. These tumblers are cleaner, retain more moisture, and don't attract pests or odor like traditional compost piles, which make them better for city residents.
  • Green Light your Garden : Install solar-powered garden lights instead of the usual plug-in variety. With solar-powered lights, you'll not only spare yourself the time and bother of wiring them together, you'll also save money on your electricity bill and never have to remember to turn them off again.


Alicia on Aug. 27, 2011 at 3:20 p.m.

I printed out the bat house information. I want to try it. We have a lot of mosquitoes here that eat my grandson's up (and everyone else too.) I was walking with my granddaughter the other night and we saw two bats flying around and I got the idea to try to attract them to maybe gobble up those mosquitoes...so here we go. Thank you for the information and very helpful link on how to make one.

wayne lawrence on Feb. 12, 2013 at 1:51 p.m.

Trying to use more handtools.They are reliable and last a lifetime if sharpened and oiled and are good for the environment if you buy quality. Go on give them a go; its fun and it keeps you fit.

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