About Me

Solar Energy, Soil Improvement and Environmental Protection

Hello! My name is Erin and this is my new energy and environmental care blog. I am a big believer in the responsibility of man to care for the environment. For too long, human beings have brought decay and destruction to the natural world. When I finally moved out of my parent's house last year, the first thing I wanted to do was to make sure my new home was an environmentally friendly as it could be. I called in a contractor who helped me to assess the quality of the soil, to install solar panels and to carry out an energy assessment rating on the property. Since then, my bills have fallen and my carbon footprint has shrunken in size. I learnt a lot during this process which I would like to share here.


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Solar Energy, Soil Improvement and Environmental Protection

Two ways to make your gardening activities more eco-friendly

by Maurice Ruiz

Gardening can be a wonderfully relaxing and enjoyable hobby. Here are two ways to ensure that your gardening activities have a positive impact on the environment.

Create a compost bin instead of using chemical fertilisers

Many people choose to use chemical fertilisers to provide the plants in their gardens with the nutrients they need to thrive and grow. However, the nitrogen found in most generic fertilisers can have a serious impact not only on the soil in your garden but also on the environment as a whole.

Nitrogen fertilisers release nitrates into the soil. These nitrates can disrupt the soil microbes' symbiotic relationships which, in turn, may affect the long-term of health the soil. These nitrates can also cause major environmental problems if they seep through the soil into nearby groundwater. When this contaminated groundwater enters a lake or river, the nitrates in the water will cause an overgrowth of oxygen-depleting algae. This reduction in oxygen can cause the fish residing in the lake or river to die off.

As such, if you're an eco-conscious gardener, you might want to consider swapping your shop-bought chemical fertilisers for homemade compost. Compost is comprised of organic matter (such as plant foliage, grass and vegetables). This matter is decomposed by worms, bacteria and fungi. The mixture that results from this decomposition process can then be used to feed your plants. Unlike the above-mentioned chemical fertilisers, compost will keep your soil (and the microbes that reside inside it) healthy for years to come and will have no impact on nearby groundwater.

Furthermore, if you put your vegetable peelings, egg shells and other organic refuse into a compost bin, instead of throwing them out with your household rubbish, you can lower your carbon footprint and help to reduce the quantity of methane that your local landfill emits.

Be responsible when disposing of garden waste

You can put a lot of lightweight garden waste into your compost bin. However, there are certain types of waste which are unsuitable for composting. Things such as large tree branches, sawdust (left behind after trimming or cutting down a tree), pine cones and the brambles from blackberry and raspberry bushes cannot be put into a compost heap.

It is important to dispose of this type of bulky garden waste responsibly. Whilst you may be tempted to simply throw it into your standard rubbish bin, this will increase your contributions to the local landfill and thus leave you with a bigger carbon footprint.

As such, if you plan to have a big clear out of your garden, which will result in a large amount of garden refuse, consider renting one or two skip bins from a company that specialises in recycling this type of waste.

The garden waste can then be processed by a recycling facility into soil conditioner, for use in commercial compost products and agricultural activities.