Yesterday (June 5th) was World Environment Day, an initiative begun by the United Nations in 1974 to promote worldwide awareness of environmental issues and encourage action. The theme for World Environment Day is ‘connecting people to nature- in the city and on the land, from the poles to the equator’ and to celebrate, we thought we’d talk about five ways you can connect with nature and make the world a greener place in your own backyard.
Between June 1-12, the species identifying app iNaturalist to collect data on biodiversity around the world. To participate, all you need to do is download the iNaturalist app, take pictures of plants, insects or animals in your local area, and share them with the iNaturalist community where they will be identified and discussed. This is a great way to learn more about the species in your local ecosystem, but is also a fun a simple way to contribute to science.
Xeriscaping refers to a style of gardening that involves landscaping to suit the natural characteristics of where you live. For example, using only plants native to your area will drastically cut down on the amount of water and fertiliser you need to use, minimising the amount of chemicals you put in the soil as well as the maintenance requirements of your garden. Planting natives can also help attract local pollinators.
Consider getting rid of your lawn
Although they might look green, lawns aren’t particularly environmentally friendly as they demand a lot of water, fertiliser, and maintenance with a petrol guzzling lawnmower. On top of that, they aren’t particularly good photo synthesisers. Getting rid of your lawn will not only cut your yard maintenance duties in half, it will also help to lower the carbon footprint of your household. Consider getting rid of the lawn and laying down a patio of exposed aggregate concrete (made from recycled materials) or planting a garden bed of native plants.
Known as ‘gardener’s gold’, compost is a great way to enrich your garden soil without the aid of chemicals as well as improve drainage, soil texture and water retention. Composting is also a fantastic way to cut down on the amount of organic waste that ends up in landfill and it’s extremely easy to set up.
Grow your own
Agriculture and the logistics of the food supply system take a huge toll on Australia’s environment every year and contribute to an enormous amount of household food waste. One way to circumvent these environmentally damaging industries is by growing your own vegetables. Growing your own vegetables guarantees you always have fresh, nutritious and organic food just outside your front door and even growing your own herbs in window boxes can help cut down on food waste and packaging.