Ecogardening to Reduce Carbon Footprint


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Tips on actions that gardeners can do to reduce their carbon footprint. Includes information on gardening practices, working in communities, and vegetable gardening.

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Ecogardening to Reduce Carbon Footprint

  1. 1. Ecogardening: Reduce Your Carbon Footprint Linda R McMahan Oregon State University Extension Horticulturist & Botanist [email_address]
  2. 2. Program & Goals <ul><li>Fun fact quiz </li></ul><ul><li>Effects of predicted climate changes on Western Oregon gardens </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainable practices for gardeners </li></ul><ul><li>Questions, Comments, & Feedback </li></ul>
  3. 3. Climate Change and Gardens Quiz
  4. 4. What potential percentage of energy use can you save by planting deciduous trees to shade your home? <ul><li>5% </li></ul><ul><li>15% </li></ul><ul><li>30% </li></ul><ul><li>50% </li></ul>
  5. 5. In Oregon , planting deciduous trees to shade a home has the potential to save: <ul><li>$25 per year </li></ul><ul><li>$50 per year </li></ul><ul><li>$100 per year </li></ul><ul><li>$175 per year </li></ul>
  6. 6. Percentage of world power used by the United States? (We are about 5% of world population) <ul><li>5% </li></ul><ul><li>15% </li></ul><ul><li>25% </li></ul><ul><li>40% </li></ul> commons/0/0a/World_population_pie_chart.PNG
  7. 7. True or False <ul><li>Predicted climate change in our area includes warmer average annual temperatures </li></ul>True
  8. 8. True of False <ul><li>Predicted climate change in our area would mean wetter winters with more storm runoff and increased flooding </li></ul>True
  9. 9. What percentage of the “waste stream” typically discarded could be kept “at home” for use in the garden? <ul><li>5% </li></ul><ul><li>22% </li></ul><ul><li>34% </li></ul><ul><li>63% </li></ul>
  10. 10. In the U.S., fresh produce travels an estimated average “food miles” of: <ul><li>50 miles </li></ul><ul><li>150 miles </li></ul><ul><li>750 miles </li></ul><ul><li>1500 miles </li></ul>
  11. 11. Of the following activities to acquire fresh produce, which one typically uses the most energy per item? <ul><li>The trip to and from the grocery store </li></ul><ul><li>Energy required to get produce from the farmer to the grocery store </li></ul><ul><li>Energy used to grow fresh produce at home </li></ul>
  12. 12. The most energy-intensive part of a typical home landscape is: <ul><li>A vegetable garden </li></ul><ul><li>Annual and perennial borders </li></ul><ul><li>The lawn </li></ul><ul><li>The trees </li></ul>
  13. 13. Produce flown by air consumes how much more energy than shipping by sea? <ul><li>14% </li></ul><ul><li>24% </li></ul><ul><li>44% </li></ul><ul><li>144% </li></ul>
  14. 14. Effects of Possible Climate Changes in Western Oregon Effect Consequence Warmer average temperatures Different plants may be locally adaptive More turbulent weather, possibly more extremes More wind damage, maybe frost & heat damage Higher winter rainfall in western Oregon More water damage, water and chemical runoff, flooding & vegetation changes
  15. 15. What gardeners can do! <ul><li>Reduce use of fossil fuels </li></ul><ul><li>Recycle and compost </li></ul><ul><li>Limit consumption </li></ul><ul><li>Use common sense </li></ul><ul><li>Protect the soil </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce water use </li></ul><ul><li>Work with nature </li></ul><ul><li>Create communities of gardeners </li></ul>
  16. 16. Some General Rules for Gardens and Landscapes An energy-intensive landscape A low-energy-use landscape
  17. 17. If your practices and purchases use fossil fuels, consider using alternative methods Transportation Manufacture Materials Lifetime of Use Direct Fuel Use
  18. 18. Use the Power of the Sun Plant trees—they provide shade and moderate temperatures Deciduous trees on the south and west sides of house provide cooling influence in summer and let heat through in winter Use solar lighting if practical Shrubs, lawns, and other vegetation also cools, shades, and protects from wind
  19. 19. Go WaterWise Saves water for drinking, agriculture, or wildlife Creates beautiful landscapes Uses fewer chemicals because plants are better adapted Less water means less expended energy for water storage, delivery, and infrastructure penstemon
  20. 20. <ul><li>Plants from Mediterranean regions of the world, including California </li></ul><ul><li>US prairie natives like sunflower </li></ul><ul><li>Pacific Northwest native plants </li></ul>sunflower Grevillia rosemarifolia California fuchsia Cistus For WaterWise Plants, Choose:
  21. 21. Use Native Plants <ul><li>Native plants are already adapted to our climate </li></ul><ul><li>Many different choices are available </li></ul><ul><li>Most support local birds, butterflies and other wildlife </li></ul>Wild strawberrry Ceanothus Mock orange
  22. 22. Build a Rain Garden Photo: Rob Emanuel, OSU Extension
  23. 23. Think Local Plants & seeds grown locally Native plants grown locally Local products, local sources Nurture native wildlife Control invasive plants and animals in the garden Iris tenax, a local native plant
  24. 24. Think Local, Think Wildlife Plant a Native Plant Garden--Reduce erosion, conserve water, encourage wildlife, lower maintenance
  25. 25. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle . . . . Buy used and/or buy sturdy, organize swaps or trades Save seeds Share resources with neighbors Compost at home or use leaves as mulch Use manual methods when you can
  26. 26. Learn from Nature <ul><li>In a natural forest, no one rakes up the leaves, and plants still grow and flourish </li></ul><ul><li>Mimic nature by “composting in place” </li></ul><ul><li>This practice reduces the need for adding fertilizers and mulch, saving money and energy </li></ul>
  27. 27. Grow Your Own Know your food Save transportation costs Create family and community activities Live with the seasons
  28. 28. Work Together for Greater Impact Save resources through sharing tools, equipment, plants, and garden space Create a community garden Help each other understand how our actions affect the world’s ecosystems and climate Create a new “look” for your community, maybe not so “tidy”
  29. 29. A Special Word About Lawns Leave grass clippings on the lawn to reduce or eliminate fertilizer – “Grasscycling” Use manual equipment when this is practical, with electric-powered being the next choice Once established, let the lawn evolve on its own –perfect turf in Oregon and Washington is a rarity Limit chemical use and seek alternatives to chemicals
  30. 30. Turf Replacement Strategies <ul><li>Plants </li></ul><ul><li>Permeable surfaces </li></ul>
  31. 31. Be Creative: Use your garden to reduce overall energy use <ul><li>Use a clothes line </li></ul><ul><li>Build arbors and pergolas for additional shade & wind breaks </li></ul><ul><li>Create wind breaks with evergreen shrubs </li></ul>
  32. 32. Go Easy on the Chemical Inputs If needed, consider using natural fertilizers like cottonseed meal or fish emulsion fertilizer Use alternatives to herbicides such as hand weeding Stop and Think: Is there a better way? Nurture Your Soil—it will reward you in return Be tolerant of imperfection and respect natural processes
  33. 33. Support Pollinators & Other Beneficial Creatures <ul><li>Beneficial organisms include bees, butterflies, birds, insects, reptiles & amphibians </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage garden biodiversity through care of the soil and limiting chemical inputs </li></ul>
  34. 34. Landscape Sustainability Checkup <ul><li>Landscape Sustainability Checkup </li></ul><ul><li>Is your yard ready to be an </li></ul><ul><li>“ O regon S ustainable L andscape”? </li></ul><ul><li>• Score at least 50 on the checklist to find out. </li></ul>
  35. 35. Sustainability Checkup <ul><li>Water Efficiency, Water Runoff </li></ul><ul><li>Mulch, Fertilizer </li></ul><ul><li>Recycle </li></ul><ul><li>Wildlife </li></ul><ul><li>Yard Pest Control </li></ul><ul><li>Right Plant Right Place </li></ul><ul><li>Presence/Control of Invasives </li></ul><ul><li>Streams – Special Care </li></ul>
  36. 36. Recognize and Create Sustainable Landscapes <ul><li>A mix of plants and plant communities encourages a diversity of plants and animals in a typical landscape </li></ul>
  37. 37. W hat we do in our gardens affects people and ecosystems elsewhere, from our energy use, to what runs off with rainwater or escapes in the air. We cannot draw a bubble around our homes and gardens and live in isolation—it just doesn’t work that way. Thank You!! [email_address]