South Taranaki Star
Gardening tips to combat climate change
OPINION: Are you overwhelmed by the constant discussion of climate change and how humans negatively impact the environment? Would you rather hear about how we can live more sustainably? Here’s one way to reduce the impact of climate change: revamping your garden.
The effects of climate change could be significantly lowered if we take action to reduce our carbon footprint – and what more enjoyable way to do so than spending more time in your garden?
These six tips help reduce the impact of climate change right from your backyard . . .
Use your garden to grow your own fresh produce. Even in urban settings, a small bed of vegetables can provide you with substantial nutrition,while reducing transportation emissions and packaging.
The climate is predicted to get hotter and drier in many places in New Zealand, so reducing your water consumption will have a positive impact. You could improve your water efficiency by installing rain collectors, olla pots, using mulch and adjusting your watering schedule to cooler times. Olla pots are made of terracotta, which are filled with water that seeps through its pores to cool itself. Olla pots can save up to 70 per cent of the water used.
Like mulch, these pots reduce evaporation and, therefore, the amount of water required for each plant.
Plant a range of native trees that sequester carbon dioxide and reduce the micro-climate temperature. Trees can absorb up to a tonne of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere over their lifetime!
Compost your organic waste to reduce methane emissions at landfills (a potent greenhouse gas). Composting is not only good for the climate but also your garden! It produces rich soils high in nutrients, reducing your need for chemical fertilisers.
Select native plants that support our native fauna and deter invasive species. Planting veronica species, cabbage trees, manuka and kowhai, encourage native insects and birds into your garden. Plant lists should be available online for your district, which can guide your selection of suitable species and the conditions required for optimal growth.
You can protect native flora and fauna in your garden by removing exotic plants so that natives have enough room to grow. Setting traps for mice, rats, stoats, and possums can also support native bird populations. Don’t forget a bell for your cat, as well.
If you’re interested in finding out how the weather may change for your garden, have a look at our ExtendWeather forecast or get a climate change property report to see how rainfall and temperature and other climatic patterns may change for your property. Our forecasts and property report can provide insight on water management during dry spells and when to plant, for example. Growing your own vegetables in your backyard using beds like these can reduce your carbon footprint significantly!