April 11, 2010

Green Solutions for Home and Garden

Earth Day is April 22, 2010. Jan at Thanks For Today has done an outstanding job of raising awareness through the Garden Bloggers Sustainable Living campaign.

Even small steps help in protecting Mother Earth. Here are a few of the things that we're doing at our house and in our garden:

Passive solar house design
When we built our house in a sunny meadow, we had the opportunity to create a passive solar design. The front porch is directly south-facing. The north is blocked by the house. The west is blocked by the L-shape formed by the garage with the front porch. This positioning allows us to take advantage of the seasons to save energy and reduce our heating and cooling costs.

Make our own sodas and sparking water
With another small step toward going green, we started making our own soft drinks and sparkling water. I had read enough information to make me feel guilty about buying bottled water in plastic bottles. Stop! Okay! Filter water. Reuse bottles. Save money.

Monarch Waystation and Wildlife Habitat
The spring migration of the Monarch butterflies starts around the second week of March. The Monarchs will leave their winter habitat in Mexico and begin their journey to our gardens in search of nectar and host plants. The Monarchs will travel through several sections of the United States during the spring migration. I grow milkweed for the Monarchs and my garden is a Certified Monarch Waystation through Monarch Watch as well as a Certified Wildlife Habitat.

A Bee Friendly Garden without Chemicals
The bees are welcome in my garden and we are fortunate to have three feral (wild) bee hives located within three miles of our home. I don't use chemicals in the garden.

Remove Invasive Plants
Invasive plants escape into the wild and choke out our native species. Please check the invasive plant lists in your state before adding a new plant to your garden. Here in North Carolina, I refer to the Invasive Exotic Species list that is published by the North Carolina Native Plant Society.

Utilize Water Runoff with a Rain Garden
Rain management can be used to enhance your garden, protect your property and turn eyesores into pretty areas. The right plants produce rewarding results. It's easier to garden WITH nature -- zone, rain, drought, deer, rabbits—instead of against nature.

Use Drought Tolerant or Xeric Plants for Hot, Dry Garden Areas
The narrow bank of my sunny stream is a difficult space, so I am converting to xeric plants to save water and save time. I also use drought tolerant plants on the sunny slopes of my deer resistant garden.

Please visit Garden Bloggers Sustainable Living site to check out the stories from other bloggers for many more green solutions for home and garden.

Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel. All company or product or patented names mentioned are registered trademarks/copyrights/patents owned by those respective companies or persons.

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Defining Your Home, Garden & Travel

Home, garden and travel tips by Freda Cameron

Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

TO CONTACT ME: leave a comment and I will not publish your personal information. By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.


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