Organic Gardening Goal 8: To avoid or minimize all forms of pollution in the establishment and care of landscapes.
Half of the wetlands around the world have been lost since 1990.
At least a third of rivers and streams in the US are so polluted that fish are inedible and swimming is not safe. Lakes are worse off. Farming accounts for about half of this. The majority of wells have pesticides and even more have pharmaceuticals and other waste water products.
As organic gardeners, we can start by doing our part to minimize pollution.
5 Ways To Decrease Pollution As A Gardener
- Don’t use pesticides. You already know that right? Okay, but also make sure you don’t use chemical fertilizers. Did you know that one?
If you’re putting on 10-10-10 or 21-7-7, as much as 90% of it is missing the plants entirely, killing billions of microbes on its way down into your groundwater.
- Use quiet equipment. If you live in a city, studies have shown that noise pollution puts stress on you, even if you don’t know it. And it certainly puts stress on animals and yes, even plants. Increasingly, organic gardening professionals are offering “quiet” services.
- Don’t use corn gluten meal. I know it’s the latest big organic gardening trend, but it’s generally made with genetically modified corn. If that isn’t pollution, I don’t know what is. Same with canola, cotton, feather and soybean meals. Alfalfa meals are sometimes okay, at least for now.
- Start composting. Statistics often point to about a third of landfills being filled with things that could have been composted. An even better way to prevent leaching (into the ground) and volatilizing (into the air) is to make bokashi, a compost popular in organic gardening that is made with specific fermenting microorganisms that retain all of the nutrients and gases in the compost.
- Air pollution inside a building is often many times worse than outside air. Fortunately, certain houseplants were born to clean your air. I like the 3 plants described in this short video, although the number of plants needed is substantial: