Money and Energy Saving Tips for Spring Yard Work
The temperatures are rising and the flowers are blooming! With the longer days and warmer weather comes some yard work. While you’re getting your lawn and gardens ready for the season, we have a few tips that can help you save money while reducing waste and your carbon impact!
Compost yard waste
You’re going to be removing all kinds of carbon-rich “browns” from your yard. Thatch (a layer of dead organic material between the root and green parts of grass), sticks, dead leaves you didn’t clean up in the fall, and similar materials are great additives for your compost pile. You want three parts “browns” to one part “greens” (more recently-alive, nitrogen-rich materials, such as plant clippings) to keep everything decomposing well. You can add the finished compost to your garden soil or lawn later in the season to promote growth.
Don’t use a powered lawnmower
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the average lawn mower emits as much smog-causing pollution in one hour as the average car does traveling 200 miles. Instead, use a push mower (also known as a reel push mower). You won’t just save money by not using a gas-powered lawnmower; using a push mower is considered moderate-intensity aerobic exercise by the Centers for Disease Control, so you can decrease your carbon impact AND increase your general health at the same time!
Leave the clippings
A study by NASA’s Earth Observatory found that by leaving grass clippings on your lawn, you can cut the amount of fertilizer you need almost in half, which means fewer chemicals on your lawn and more money in your pocket! The clippings will decompose quickly, getting the nutrients they hold back into the soil and keeping your lawn healthier.
Water with rain!
Your lawn and gardens need water to live, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to use the hose. You can capture rainwater from your roof using a downspout and a barrel like the Sky Juice rain barrels sold at EcoBuilding Bargains. Capturing this water reduces demand on your local water supply, and if your water is metered, can definitely save you some money!
Plant now, save later
By making smart choices with your planting, you can reap rewards in the future. The obvious reward is saving money by growing your own produce. However, planting some trees on the west of your property now could be a useful way to shade your home in future summers, resulting in lower cooling costs down the road. Trees help reduce carbon in the atmosphere too, so it’s a win-win!
We hope these tips help your yard work go quickly and easily. Happy Spring!