Green Thumbs: Your Guide to Becoming a Sustainable Gardener

While gardening does at times require startup supplies - as well as supplies for maintenance - as land stewards, we should all try our best to improve how much and what we use in the garden.

If you’re looking for ways to be a more sustainable gardener, here are a few tips to help you achieve that goal.

Reduce your use of peat

Peat is a non-renewable resource and peat bogs are terrible for the environment. When peat is extracted, it releases carbon into the atmosphere.

Reducing your usage of peat can help decrease the demand for peat, so less and less goes into production. Peat is often found in seed-starting mixes or peat pots, and some garden soil blends. Coco coir is often used as substitute and is much more sustainable than peat, so give coco coir a try instead next time.

Reduce your use of plastic

Plastic is everywhere you look and it’s nearly impossible to avoid. Many tools, pots, and seed starting trays are plastic. And while some plastic is better than others, there are a lot of plastics out there that can’t actually be recycled, so they still end up in the landfill.

For pots, look for ceramic or terra cotta. For trays, look for steel or silicone trays that are sturdier and built to last. While you still may end up with plastic in your garden, reducing the amount is still helpful to the environment. 

Collect rainwater

Rainwater is so beneficial for your plants, so you might as well save some. If it’s going to rain anyway, that water can be collected and used later, so you don’t have to turn on that hose and use water that you have to pay for.

Collecting rainwater also helps reduce pressure on your local water municipalities, which is a win-win for everyone.

Shop local when possible

While the online world of shopping does offer more options and possibly better prices, see if you can find your gardening supplies locally.
Some things are such small items that the carbon emissions to have it packed, sent and delivered to you just aren’t worth it. If you can find what you need locally when you’re already out running errands, for example, it’s less carbon emissions for your supplies, which is something you can feel good about. Plus, you might just be helping out a small business in the process. 
Composting at home is a great way to create nutrients to feed back into your soil. Food waste is inevitable, but if we can return that food waste back to the earth, then we should.
There are many different forms of composting, and it can be done even if you are a small space gardener.

While many areas are implementing allowing food waste to be put into green waste city bins for pickup, many areas still may not have such a program, and if this is the case for you, trying to reduce your carbon imprint is important, so if you have food waste that can be composted, look into which composting method is right for you with your space and give it a try. 

Save seeds

If you’re already growing things in your garden and want to grow them again, save the seeds! That way, it’s one less purchase you have to make, which is one less seed pack, which reduces the demand overall.

Plus, if you order your seeds online, it is one less package that needs to be transported to your home. Seed saving is also beneficial because they are going to be more adapted to your growing region and might produce bigger and stronger plants in seasons to come. 

Final thoughts

Even if you can’t do everything on this list, reducing your carbon imprint any way possible is still helpful to our planet. If we all work to improve our usage of products that negatively affect our environment, then it is still a step in the right direction. 







  • Herbert

    Vego raised gardens arrive vacuum sealed in plastic and are manufactured in China. I appreciate the recommendations but maybe Vego could also follow its own advice. That said, I am trying to get the most out of my Vego raised gardens.

  • Sandi

    great ideas

Leave a comment