There are many small changes you can make to your outdoor and indoor surroundings to adopt environmentally conscious habits that could reduce your carbon footprint. Luckily, making careful choices can be easy with the right tools and information. Check out the following advice for taking a few small steps to a more sustainable living space. Remember to check the homeowners association CC&Rs for guidelines and possible restrictions prior to beginning any projects.
Compost is a natural way to enrich planting and gardening soil with nutrients from kitchen waste like apple cores, banana peels and coffee grounds mixed with plant matter like yard clippings and fallen leaves. The keys to successful compost are time, ventilation and heat. You can start with a medium-sized container and a lid that includes ventilation holes placed in direct sunlight, if possible. Remember to be mindful of where you place the compost on your property to decrease the likelihood of offensive odors seeping into your neighbor’s living space.
Grow your own herbs and garden veggies
Even if you don’t have an outdoor gardening space, you still can grow herbs and vegetables indoors in small containers. Herbs like oregano, rosemary and mint require little maintenance and can thrive if placed near a bright or sunny window. Vegetables like tomatoes and carrots also can be grown indoors with the proper care. Check your local home improvement store for seed packets and guides for getting started. And, don’t forget to use your compost to enrich that soil!
Consider using drip irrigation
Drip irrigation uses a slow-drip watering method to hydrate your garden on an ongoing basis instead of running a sprinkler system or hose for several intermittent periods. Running drip irrigation often can be both a cost-efficient and environmentally responsible alternative to traditional watering methods, but be sure to consult a landscape professional to learn about which plants and foliage benefit most.
Use solar-friendly outdoor lights
Several products on the market now employ the use of small solar sensors or panels to help reduce the amount of electricity used for outdoor lighting accessories. Semi solar-powered lantern lights, walkway illuminators and attached light fixtures are available at many home improvement stores. Opt for energy efficient light bulbs to go with your solar-friendly outdoor lighting accessories whenever possible.
These are just a few was to reduce your carbon footprint in your homeowners association. Do it in your own home or encourage neighbors and the Board to take the same steps toward sustainable living.