Earth Day is this Saturday. Join the rest of the world by taking a few minutes to mark the occasion. Even the smallest of efforts honors Mother Nature. Here are three choices of small efforts that can make your home a greener place to live.
Regrow food from scraps
Did you know that some vegetables and herbs will regrow in water? This is a fun activity for the kids. Celery, scallions, basil, cilantro, and garlic are just some of the plants you can stick in water and watch them grow. Once the stalks or roots sprout, many of these re-growers can be transferred to soil. Some other veggies like potatoes and onions are cut in half and then put directly in soil for sprouting. You can find some great instructions online. The Food Revolution Network site has a great infographic to get you started.
We know. Composting sounds like a bit of a hassle. Remembering all the “rules” about what scraps to compost and what to recycle/trash can be daunting. But you don’t have to compost everything that can be composted. You can start with a small, countertop bin (they come in plastic, ceramic and stainless steel gallon-or-less versions) and compost only 2 or 3 items that you know won’t attract pests and will add nutrients to your garden. Start with simple things like coffee grounds and eggshells. When the countertop bin gets halfway or all the way full, take it out to your garden’s compost heap. Regularly give the heap a good turn to aerate it, and let Mother Nature work her magic on it. The bottom of the heap is where the good soil vitamins will be. Adding compost to gardens makes a big difference in the health and growth of flowers and vegetables. As always, check with your local municipality for rules about composting. Some townships put the nix on composting in order to control varmint populations.
Get a rain barrel
Rain barrels are simple to set up. They are attached to the end of a downspout and left there to collect rain. Don’t use any barrel. A rain barrel is different than something that once held oil or beer. Unlike recycled barrels or garbage cans, rain barrels are specially lidded to keep mosquitos from breeding inside and have a garden-hose-ready faucet attached to the bottom. Rain barrels can cost more than you may expect, but it is a set-it-and-mostly-forget-it favor you can do for the environment. Stormwater runoff is a big pollution problem, so catching a bit of that rain before it hits the drains to use in the garden later is a great way to help your local environment. (Another way to combat runoff is with design. Check out ECO pavers if you’re looking for a way to spruce up your driveway or patio and help the environment too).
Whether you are going to a huge Earth Day picnic or staying home this weekend, there are many more ways to connect with nature and join in the global celebration of our great, green planet. Happy Earth Day!