Really Green Gardening

Our homes and gardens are our own little slice of this earth which we can relax and be at peace with.  However they are also a huge source of energy waste and impact heavily on the environment.  There are ways of reducing the impact your home has on our planet though.  Take a look at a few areas you could make changes to both your pocket and the environment around you.

The garden is a great place to start going green.  Replacing any lighting you have with solar powered lights means you are harnessing the sun’s natural energy to illuminate your garden.  As you know, the sun is a free source of energy so make the most of it! You can also go one step further by installing solar panels to your home.  Prices start from from £4000 and you may find you qualify for help from the government as there has been loads of incentives to encourage homeowners to embrace this natural resource.  

Using a water butt to harvest rainwater can also help improve your carbon footprint, we are lucky in England as rain is plentiful. You can make sure you have a natural supply of water all the way through the summer.  If you find your butt is filling too much over the winter, then you can find storage containers that hold a few gallons too.  You can then keep your supply topped up, knowing every drop has come straight from nature without dipping into extra resources.  You can also set up your irrigation system to run from any solar energy you are collecting.

Reducing the amount of miles our foods have to travel also helps lessen your impact on the environment. Growing your own produce is a great way to save money on your shopping bills and to fill your home with delicious organic goods.  Keeping hens is also very simple as they roam free range during the day and just need their food and water topped up once a day.  You will then have a free source of fresh eggs which are not only delicious, but have travelled just a few steps to make it onto your plate.  If you find yourself with an abundance of produce, you could have an honesty box outside your home for your neighbours to enjoy.

Another great idea is to consider the use of a living roof or living wall.  Here you can use nature to provide your roof with extra insulation during the winter months and protect your home from the heat during the summer.  Homes can lose a hefty percentage of heating through the roof, so you will be saving yourself money on your heating bills too at the same time as creating your very own wildlife area.  You could even consider using your roof as the vegetable garden, ensuring the plants get maximum exposure to the sun.  A living wall also acts as insulation but in a more targeted way as it only affects the room to the inside of the wall it is climbing.  Herbs and foliage grow splendidly here, moss is another great provider of heat insulation too. For more information about green roofs and walls visit Vertical Veg