There’s no need to go out and buy a bird feeder when you can Do Your Part and have a lot more fun creating an all natural one!
Do Your Part and conserve water outdoors. If you maintain your yard with an irrigation system, then almost half of the water used in your home every year is used outdoors.
First, get a rain gauge. An established lawn only needs around an inch of water a week and that includes rain. Any small container can help you monitor the rain that falls and then only water if you need to. If you need to run your irrigation system, then do it just once or twice a week. Set your system for one long nighttime watering. The wind is lighter and the evaporation rate is lower at night and there’s less demand on the system so the water pressure is higher. Plus a long slow watering encourages deep roots and that makes your plants more drought resistant when we inevitably get that dry spell over the summer. If you do it just once or twice a week you won’t get brown patch or any other fungus in the yard.
Lastly watch the weather forecast. If it looks like rain then turn your system off. Too much water on your lawn encourages brown patch and the excess water that runs off your yard carries lawn chemicals, clippings and sediment into the nearest storm drain, polluting our drinking water supply.
An irrigation system can definitely help protect your investment in landscaping, but if you don’t use it wisely then you’re wasting water and money. Tread lightly on our planet by using your sprinklers at the proper time and only when needed.
Who really wants to venture outside only to be bitten alive by mosquitoes? Before you spray on something filled with chemicals that can be toxic to your family and the environment, Do YourPart to seek out natural alternatives.
If you like to garden — even if it’s only a few pots on the back patio — a rain barrel is a great way to help you Do Your Part. Not only will your plants thrive since they actually prefer rain water over city water, you will also save money on your water bill.
A rain barrel takes about 5 minutes to install and you’ll only need a small saw, a screwdriver and some gloves to complete the job.
Locate the downspout where you want to place the barrel and using a hacksaw or other small saw, remove the lower half of the downspout. Attach some flexible tubing — found at any home improvement store — to the downspout and you are ready to go.
Rain barrels come in all shapes and sizes. Make sure the barrel you choose has a secure lid. This will prevent small children from removing the lid and possibly falling in. Some rain barrels have two spouts for water. The lower one can be used for garden or soaker hoses. The upper spigot is high enough to fill your garden watering can.
Rain barrels do more than conserve water. They also prevent storm water run-off. When we get a quick torrential downpour the rainwater flows through the downspout and can wash out mulch or soil in your garden. Use a rain barrel and you’ll catch a quick, free 55 gallons of water to use for another day and prevent storm water run-off.
Do Your Part and install a rain barrel in your garden. You’ll be conserving water and allowing the plants in your garden to thrive.
Growing your own vegetables is a great way to Do Your Part but not every backyard is going to have the proper amount of sunlight or the space. Here’s the solution: start or join a community garden like this one in Matthews, North Carolina.
It took two years, plenty of determination plus interest from the community to make it happen. Louise Hord, a longtime gardener, says, “You do have to give it a lot of time and you have to keep at it.”
Hord lobbied the town to donate this piece of land. Now other green thumbs have their own 10-by-15 foot plot to grow flowers, herbs and vegetables — as long as it’s all organic.
“The end result is that you have wonderful food and it’s fresh,” says Hord.
Not only that, growing organically means the land isn’t contaminated with fertilizers and pesticides.
“I always feel that if you have a piece of land, you should leave it better than you receive it,” Hord said.
To find more about how to get started where you live – check out: CommunityGarden.org.
A community garden is perfect for people who don’t have the space for their garden or want to join forces with other green thumbs. You’ll be producing your own fresh vegetables and that’s called doing your part.
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