Summer is officially here, and gardens across the country are in full bloom. While most would consider gardening an eco-friendly activity, there can be a considerable amount of waste involved, even with the best of intentions.
As you work on your garden this summer and fall, consider the ways you can reduce your environmental impact by creating a zero waste garden. Here are four ways to help you start on reaching this goal:
1) Composting: When your fruits and vegetables don’t turn out as planned, it is tempting to simply throw away the damaged produce. Instead, consider composting all of the produce that you cannot use. You will eventually be able to use the compost to nourish your garden, and keep extra waste out of the landfill.
2) Buy plants with containers that can be planted: Most stores now carry fruit and vegetable plants that are sold in packaging that can actually be planted along with the plant. Selecting these eco-friendly containers will eliminate the waste created by conventional plant containers.
3) Consume as much produce from your garden as possible: Find ways to utilize all available produce from your garden. If a tomato looks less-than-perfect, but is completely fine to eat, don’t waste it! You can also learn how to use canning and freezing to save produce for later consumption. Have fun and get creative in finding ways to enjoy as much produce from your garden as possible.
4) Donate: If you find yourself with too much quality produce from your garden, donate all extras to a local food pantry. Most communities have at least one non-profit organization that would love to have your donation of produce.