Summer can be a tough time for greenies. At least in my opinion. If you own, or rent, a place with a yard, then you are expected by your neighbors to keep it fairly neat.
Making a lawn beautiful isn’t usually the most “green” thing to do. There’s the mowing, weed-eating, watering and fertilizing.
Mowing and weed-eating:
Most mowers and weed-eaters are not environmentally-friendly. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA,) the emissions from small engines, like lawn mowers, include carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides.
The good news is, there are lower-energy options. If you have a small lawn, or lots of stamina, you can use a reel-mower. The only energy these guys use is man-power. For the weeds, you could use a scythe (though that might scare your neighbors!)
There are also electric options. We recently upgraded to an electric mower, and though the cord does tend to get in the way, this mower is so much lighter and easier to push over the lawn. We also have an electric weed-eater. While these do not guzzle gas, they are using electricity.
But there is one other option — plant groundcover. Once groundcover takes hold, it shouldn’t need to be mowed. You could make your yard ornamental and unconventionally beautiful with lots of work upfront, but little on the back-end.
Once the dry, hot summer begins, many people put the sprinklers out to keep their grass lush and green. But that can be a big waste of water.
Instead, why not invest in a rain barrel? They collect rainwater from your roof, and even have a spigot that you can connect your hose to for watering. Here’s a great description of rain barrels and what they do.
Many fertilizers on the market are chockful of chemicals. There are several organic options, like animal manure and compost. I know some cities sell compost, but you can easily make your own organic compost.