Tips for an Eco-Friendly Home and Yard
There are many simple actions we can take to reduce pollution and promote the sustainable development of the planet. Here are just some of them!
Use natural cleaning products
Many effective cleaning products are already in your pantry, such as vinegar and lemon juice. Did you know that a simple paste consisting of water and baking soda can get rid of most stains? Several essential oils, such as tea tree oil, also have antibacterial and antifungal properties. To learn how to create your own cleaning products, do some research on the Internet. There are many websites that provide this kind of information.
Do the laundry differently
Choose a detergent without EDTA (ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid), NTA (nitrilotriacetic acid) or phosphate. Chlorine should also be avoided because its discharge into the waste water system creates potentially carcinogenic organochlorines that may then be found in drinking water. Environmentally friendly cleaners are often more expensive, but simple and economical alternative solutions can be found online. As for fabric softener, it can easily be replaced by adding scented vinegar to the rinse cycle.
There's no better way to feed your flower garden or vegetable garden than with compost. In a shaded environment, a composter mixes nitrogenous materials (often green and soft, such as fruit peels or mowed grass) with other carbons (often brown and dry, such as dead leaves or old branches). The result: from humus to concentrated nutrients that improve soil quality.
Several cities, including Laval and Montréal, have an organic waste collection program. Composters can also be found in some community gardens. Even if you don't have a green thumb, composting is an environmentally responsible act that helps to sustainably manage residual waste.
Choose garden plants wisely
The healthier your plants are, the less likely you are to use pesticides. Choose resistant species that are suited to the amount of sun they will receive and the type of soil you have. When it comes to watering your garden, why not collect and store rainwater to do this? In addition to compost, fertilize with natural options such as mica, Epsom salt or bone meal.
Get rid of unwanted insects and pests naturally
In the event of a serious infestation, you may need to use the services of an exterminator or use household traps and insecticides. However, these solutions should only be considered as a last resort since there are several natural ways to keep insects away. White chalk, coffee grounds, garlic, mint ... these simple ingredients can be enough to keep ants, caterpillars and other pests away from your garden and home!
Rethink your lawn care
Because pesticides are harmful to our health and the ecosystem, it's better to be safe than sorry. In the spring or late summer, have your lawn aerated by removing small plugs of earth. This is something you can do yourself if you have the right equipment, or you can entrust this job to a specialized company. Then, feed the soil by covering it with a thin layer of compost or soil. Have its acidity analyzed to see if it needs to be changed.
There's no point in watering the lawn too frequently, this will make it even more vulnerable to drought. To save water, follow the restrictions put in place by your city or borough. And don't panic if your lawn turns yellow: a healthy lawn will regain its colour when the rain returns. Finally, use an electric or mechanical mower to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and leave the clippings on the lawn where they will decompose and feed the soil.