Well, winter is coming up quickly for the southern hemisphere and likewise for summer in the northern parts of the world. The change of seasons gives us a great chance to prep our homes and gardens for earth friendly practices therefore reducing our impact on the local and global environment.
So here are some tips to get you started.
For those approaching winter it is time for you to;
- Clean up and cover up the garden. The growth of plants will be slowing now so don’t expect too much food. It is best to insulate the garden with mulch. If your area suffers from severe frosts make sure the mulch is not too close to the stem of the plant, this gives it a chance to warm up in the morning sun. Move your pot plants to north facing & sheltered areas.
- Concentrate on preparing for the abundance that spring brings and start making a new batch of compost with all those dried up leaves that are falling.
- The sun is lowering so solar energy is lowering too. Look into creating more resilient energy systems and think about wind or hydro power. You will be using more energy to keep your home warm and to cook warming foods, so convert your energy provider to one that only uses renewable energy.
- Spend an hour looking at where heat might escape and what you can do to block these escape routes off. Spending the time now will ensure you are not wasting energy later.
- Think about the wildlife in your area. Install some bird boxes or hollowed out logs in your garden. This will help the little critters in your area get through the colder days. After all we have taken a lot of their land for human use, perhaps it is time to share?
- If you are buying new clothes or blankets to keep warm remember to ask “who made them?”. Go out of your way to get Fair Trade clothing and blankets. There is no need to sponsor the exploitation of people and the planet just to look good in your new winter coat.
- Try to cut back or eliminate your meat, egg and dairy consumption. Everyone knows this is an environmentally friendly practice in itself, and with the extra greenhouse gases produced from heating our homes the world could do without the extra pressure. Also remember our bodies are seasonal, so it is OK to eat seasonal fruits and vegetable, don’t hate the potato!
- Look into joining a local wellness class, like yoga. Ensure you attend regular classes as nurturing yourself through the winter will be important for your emotional and physical wellbeing.
- Don’t turn the heater up, put a jumper on first! Then if you are still cold head for the heater but just heat up the rooms you are using all the time.
For those approaching summer it is time for you to;
- Spread the compost and a light layer of mulch. All those microorganisms in the soil will be waking up and looking for food. Ensuring they are well fed will ensure that you have healthy soil and a healthy & abundant crop of fruit and vegetables. Turn in some rock dust to ensure mineral rich food for a healthy body and mind.
- The sun is rising and so is solar energy. Take advantage of this time and get your solar panels installed! Or, if you are renting convert your energy provider to one who only uses renewable energy.
- It is time to expand as new opportunities are waiting to grow. Go out of your way to join a local community group, one that is focused on conservation, or a community garden perhaps. Getting out and about in your community for a good cause will bring the connection and progress you need to pull you out of the winter slumber.
- Bring the elements of nature into your home. Pull all the blankets, mats and covers out of the house and let the sun cleanse them. Wipe down surfaces with an uplifting vinegar and lemon oil combo. Open the windows and let the air push out the stale winter air. It is time for a fresh start.
- Your local wildlife will be breeding now, a lot! Ensure you help them out by installing and/or cleaning out nesting boxes and adding some extra hollowed out logs to the garden.
- Your body will be craving fresh and seasonal foods now. Listen to it and choose foods that are not only good for you but good for the planet. Organic is best, organic & unprocessed it even better. Try to cut back on meats, egg and dairy products, the heavy feeling they leave behind is not compatible with the spring freshness. There are plenty of healthy options available that you leave you feeling satisfied. Take the new start feeling that spring brings and try to practice more ethical consumption choices, you don’t know how great you will feel if you don’t try!
- Keep the windows and doors closed in the morning to keep the cool air inside, as the day warms up the house will warm up. Then as the day cools down open the windows and doors to let the cooling air enter.
- The bees and pollinating insects will be so happy right about now. So let them beeeeee and make sure you have plenty of flowers in the garden to encourage them to pollinate your food plants too! Why not make some insect hotels too – they are a great way to encourage beneficial insects into your garden.
- Explore your local farmers markets and have a chat to them about which seeds are ready for planting. Then plant them. Your soil will be healthy and ready to go from your winter prep (see above).
Any time is the best time to create positive change for the environment and for your lives. Never forget to keep exploring and trying new things. By looking back, even keeping a progress journal, you can see how far you have evolved, year by year. You can be a part of positive change in the world, just by living your life with intention.
By Katie xx