5 Ways to Be Green This Spring
March 20, 2014
Spring has arrived—finally—and here are five tips on how you can live green.
1. Go Native
Get rid of some of your lawn, and replace it with native plants, shrubs and trees. They often need less water, tolerate hot, dry summers, and offer food for wildlife.
- Order these bee-friendly, native plants that are on sale until April 28.
- Check out these lists of recommended native and wildlife friendly plants and bulbs for our area.
- Register this five-session, native gardening class starting March 30.
2. Buy gently used furniture
You save a lot of green by buying gently used furniture, clothes and toys—and by reusing them, you’ll also help keep them from ending up in a landfill.
- Buy from the county’s public auction site. You can find gym equipment, office furniture, children’s toys and more.
- Go to the Lake Fairfax flea market in Reston, starting April 5.
3. Shop locally
Fairfax’s farmer’s market will open in May. Locally produced food travels less distance from farm to table. This means that less polluting fossil fuels are burned to bring you fresh produce, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
4. Don’t fertilize your lawn in the spring—and use natural weed killers
If you don’t need to fertilize your lawn, don’t—and don’t fertilize in the spring if you have cool-season grass, like tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass.
Feeding your lawn at the wrong time of year can actually hurt your grass in the long run. Fertilizer runoff harms our creeks, streams and the Chesapeake Bay.
- Talk to a master gardener at one of the weekly plant clinics if you don’t know your grass type.
- Use corn gluten meal, instead of chemical weed killers.
- Consider using one of these state-certified, environmentally friendly landscape companies (PDF) .
5. Sack plastic bags—take a reusable bag to the grocery store
Plastic bags can kill marine life, and they’ve been found floating north of the Arctic Circle. Most bags are made from oil and natural gas too. And, they can take 500 to 1,000 years to decompose, says the EPA.
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