Gardenroom doorway and herbacous borders, Norfolk

Eco garden tips

See how green you are and what new steps you can take to be even greener in the garden. How many of the things below do you do? We've rated them by order of 'green-ness' from light green to dark green!

Light green

  • Fix leaky taps and dripping hoses as soon as they break.
  • Use a hosepipe with a trigger on it, not a sprinkler system.
  • Water your garden in the evening to reduce loss from evaporation.
  • When using paddling pools, reuse the water on your plants.
  • Reduce your use of pesticides and weedkillers in the garden, as these will eventually make their way into rivers, lakes and groundwater.
  • Be careful with the disposal of pesticides and weedkillers – don’t pour them down drains but dispose of them carefully at official sites.
  • Allow your lawn to grow longer between cutting so it is more resistant to drying out - don’t cut the grass too short.
  • When pruning trees and shrubs, keep sturdy sticks and use them as rustic poles for climbing plants like beans or peas. You could use willow to reinforce hanging baskets and dry out twigs to use as kindling. 
  • Avoid using patio heaters - a climate-busting way to keep warm outdoors. 

Green

  • Use a watering can to water your garden, instead of using a hose or sprinkler.  
  • Install a water butt to collect rain water for watering the garden - many water companies and local councils offer good deals on water butts.
  • Buy a composter and compost your kitchen and garden scraps.
  • Monitor how much water you’re using, on a monthly or quarterly basis and figure out how you can reduce use.
  • Use mulches to reduce the loss of water from your garden.
  • Buy peat free compost and plants.
  • Do a water audit of your garden to establish where water could be leaking unnoticed.
  • Use cleaning products with low phosphorous content for washing cars and other items outside.
  • Buy timber for decking, borders or other features from a reclamation yard, not brand new. 
  • If you have to buy new wood, make sure it is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified.  
Watering can

Dark green

Plant drought-resistant plants, eg hebes, lavenders, buddleias, rosemary, especially if you live in a part of the country that will become much drier in summer, such as southern England.

If you purchase a water recycling system for your home—which recycles rainwater or grey water—use it for watering the garden.

Lavender at Old Moor RSPB Reserve, Dearne Valley

How did you do?

Score any light greens?

You're making a good start to a green lifestyle, why not take the next steps to saving our environment?

Score any greens?

Well done - you're already living a greener lifestyle than most people in the UK. Read on to find out what else you can do to make a real difference to the environment.

Score any dark greens?

Congratulations! You really are committed to green living. Make sure you get family and friends on board! 

Oak leaves