The South West London Gardener

How Gardening Can Help Combat Climate Change

bird sipping from bird bath

Most of us, if not all, are now aware of the dangers of climate change.

The need for sustainable living has never been more important, and one of the places you can begin to make a difference is in your garden.

Sustainable gardening is a powerful and efficient way of making an impact on the planet.

Whether you’re a beginner picking up their first trowel, or someone who has been gardening for years, there are certain approaches and processes that can minimise the harm your gardening does to the planet, and lead to lots of positives.

But what are these processes? And can gardening really make a difference?

Let’s take a look.

The Effects Gardening Has on The Environment

While gardening does have positive effects on the planet, it also carries some negative ones, including these:

  • Pollution – Pesticides and chemicals are often used in gardening to eradicate weeds for example. These can be harmful to the environment as well as being hazardous to local wildlife.
  • Destruction – If you are cutting down a tree, or removing some shrubbery from your garden, then you may be removing the homes for many creatures that have set up a habitat there.
  • Resources – Every time you fill your lawnmower up with petrol or send a spray of your hose across your grass, you are using up a large number of resources which could have a negative effect on the planet. The use of fuel powered tools can also lead to greenhouse gas emissions being released into the environment.

While gardening is seen as a positive thing for the planet, there are some downsides if you don’t do it in the right way.

So, if you want to make a difference, here are five methods of gardening that will help keep you and your outside area eco-friendly.

pergola in garden

Five Ways Gardening Can Make a Difference

Reducing Carbon Emissions

We’ve mentioned emissions in the section above, but there are ways you can cut down your usage.

The biggest culprits are fuel-powered tools such as lawnmowers and strimmers, so if you can opt for an electric version then this is a big step in the right direction.

Best of all is if you can only use hand held tools. These don’t use any energy at all (apart from your own of course) and are a great way of gardening naturally.

Try to look for tools made from sustainable materials and avoid long drives to collect it and transport your items as this is another way of adding to your carbon footprint.

Absorbing Carbon

On the topic of carbon, there are ways that you can stop so much of it from entering the environment.

Plants love nothing more than taking a big deep breath and swallowing some of that CO2, so the more you plant, the lower your carbon footprint will be.

The bigger the better when it comes to this, so don’t be afraid to get a large tree growing or get plenty of greenery right across your outside space.

Even your lawn can help absorb some CO2 (albeit not as much as plants) so always choose a natural lawn and try to avoid plastic grass.

Conserving Water

When the sun is shining and the weather is hot, 50% of the total water used is outside on our gardens.

That is a lot of water.

A lack of water is starting to become more of a concern in the UK as the summers get hotter, with many areas declaring a drought in the hotter months last year.

Sustainable gardening practises, such as using water butts and water collection systems will help you recycle the rain water when it comes and can drastically reduce your usage.

This way, you can keep your plants, grass, and wildlife healthy without having to turn the tap on too often which can make a big difference not just to the environment, but also to your bills.

Improving Biodiversity

If you can tailor your gardening methods so that you have your mind on the wildlife that inhabit your garden, then you can help to increase the biodiversity.

Providing spaces that are ideal for creatures such as insects, birds, and other wildlife will help them to keep warm, well fed, and hydrated.

This can be something as simple as a pile of garden waste that a hedgehog can burrow into it, or a small bowl of water for the local birds to come and have a sip.

Biodiversity is essential for maintaining healthy ecosystems, which play a crucial role in regulating the earth’s climate, plus you have the added positive of getting to watch all the wonderful creatures that can enjoy your garden as much as you do.

Reducing Waste

Our final method is to reduce the waste that you use in your garden.

There are many ways you can do this, including a new initiative we touched on in our previous blog where you can recycle your old compost bags.

The great thing about gardens is that there are many beneficial ways of using waste from your home and outside area.

For example, if you have some food waste, this will work great to provide nutrients for your soil as compost (and while on the topic of compost, did you know you can now recycle your bags?). Why not use some old bark chippings as mulch to regulate your soil temperature and provide protection for your plants?

You can also reuse furniture and create some chairs or a bench to enjoy a spot of relaxation in the sun.

Using sustainable materials and avoiding non-recyclable materials can be a big boost to the planet and creating new things for your garden from something that was once described as ‘waste’ can be a really fun activity to take part in.

Twickenham pergola

Natural Gardening at The Southwest London Gardener

Here at The Southwest London Gardener, our whole team are passionate about gardening and the benefits it can bring to the environment.

If you want to know more, why not check out our blogs on natural materials to use or our guide to natural gardening?

Or why not contact our team, where we can talk through your project with you and create a delightful natural garden on your property.