Jan, over at Thanks for Today, is holding her 2nd Annual Gardeners' Sustainable Living Project, in which she asks us garden bloggers to share things we are doing in our gardens to help, or not harm, the environment. I love the idea, and so i joined in this year!
There are a number of things I do, very intentionally, as a Minnesota gardener. One of the easiest things I have done is to use native Minnesota plants in my gardens. The book Landscaping with Native Plants of Minnesota has been a valuable resource for me. These plants are proven to handle the conditions Minnesota can dish out, and are mostly drought-tolerant. That is very important to me, as I don't want to waste any water, if at all possible. Once the plants are established, I usually have to water them just once a week, and that only if it hasn't rained. I water at the ground level, not using a sprinkler most of the time. I simply lay the hose down in the garden and let it run. That way I don't lose much to evaporation.
Mulching is a big thing i do for my garden. I use significantly less water when i mulch the beds, and containers! The water does not evaporate off, and the soil does not dry like a garden without mulch. Less water= less waste= happy environment!
As far as pesticides/insecticides go, I choose to not use them. I do not use them because there are many beneficial insects/bugs/spiders that I want to keep in my garden. I am the one who will go out there and pick off the bugs one-by-one! I can often be found lying under my rose bushes picking off japanese beetles!
These are just a few of the things I do to be a responsible gardener as far as our environment goes.
What are some things that you do?