Smaller footprint ideas:

When your gas lawn mower gives out, weed eaters and trimmers too, replace them with an electric one. I’ve had one for years now, and I’ve never regretted it. Today’s models have even better batteries and can do larger lawns on a single charge. I love not having to store gas in my garage, and the statistics showing the estimated spilled gas on garage floors and down the side of mowers when refueling is staggering: 17 million gallons each year – not to mention the greenhouse gases and other pollutants they spew out. Be sure you don’t simply chuck your old mower into the landfill system. Find a recycling center. My hometown takes them as long as they are emptied of all liquids.

When your kids leave the nest, or have grown too big for backyard football, consider taking out some of that water gulping sod and replacing it with xeriscape or native plants and grasses. Many of these yards are stunning, and so much more maintenance free. They don’t need all the fertilizer either. Actually, if you are okay with your lawn not being the first to green up in the spring, they don’t need much fertilizer at all. It only makes the grass grow faster, which makes it need more water, and you have to mow more often. Neither of those two consequences suit me or my budget. I spot treat specific weeds and by June, the lawns all look the same.

Plant deciduous trees on the south side of your house for summer shade, and evergreens (I prefer spruce to pine because I don’t like needle drop) on the north for protection from winter winds. Consider planting some veggies in amongst your flower beds. My grandkids love finding those surprises in the yard.

Keep the ideas coming. The Climate Crisis is a giant mountain, I know, but each of us can take little steps and we’ll climb it together.

About Barbara K Tyner

A graduate of UCCS with a degree in English Lit., Barbara writes Children's Literature as well as mainstream fiction. Her popular children's series, The Badger Books, is co-authored with Barbara's daughter, Laura. Her first novel, "Wait Here, Wait There" deals with grief and Alzheimer's. Her second novel, Rhyaden, a middle grade fantasy released Nov. 2018. Gardening, exploring National Parks, Kayaking, hiking, and snow-shoeing top her list of favorite hobbies.
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