It might seem a bit ironic to consider this, but your garden could actually be doing damage to the environment. Of course, when you realise it’s not the plants or flowers themselves, but our interventions that are harmful, this starts to make sense. Thus, as always, we can be more mindful of how we garden and, in doing so, do better in terms of minimising the harms we do to the planet.
One way we harm is through the kinds of chemicals we use in our gardens and lawns. We have used these lab developed chemicals to better control plants and combat pests. But, as Scientific American notes there are costs:
“namely the wholesale pollution of most of our streams, rivers, ponds, lakes and even coastal areas, as these synthetic chemicals run-off into the nearby waterways.”
The enormous damage goes all the way into our waters, as fish become affected – these fish are then eaten by people who themselves become sick.
In response, many critics have highlighted that the use of pesticides might be premised on an outdated model and understanding of how ecosystems work.
One solution is to go organic. As PlanetNatural highlights:
“Growing organically, doesn’t just mean not using synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, it means creating a healthy environment where plants can grow strong and harmful insects and weeds are balanced with beneficial insects and desirable plants.”
Your entire garden should be focused on like this. For example, when we decide what furniture to use, are we using the best kinds of material. Timber decking for example is ideal if we want to maintain an idea of being eco-friendly, due to the enormous benefits of wood as a building material. As the American Forest Foundation notes:
“Steel and concrete consume 12% and 20% more energy, emit 15% and 29% more greenhouse gases, and release 10% and 12% more pollutants into the air, and generate 300% and 225% more water pollutants than wood.”
Thus, even here, we don’t have to be unthinking and put any old material in our garden – but one that is best for the environment. By simply being mindful, which is mostly what “being green” is, we can do wonders for ourselves and the environment.