How to become a green gardener
PUBLISHED: 14:51 13 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:11 20 February 2013
What can you do to protect the environment in your own back garden? Isobel Brookfield, an adviser to the Waste and Resoures Action Programme) in Yorkshire gives her top tips for autumn
There are a number of simple steps you can take to become a greener gardener that wouldn't cost the earth.
Home composting is one which can be done by anyone who has outdoor space. Start composting at any time of the year but autumn is a popular time because it's when many gardeners create more garden waste such as grass cuttings, as they tidy up for winter.
Households in England throw away about four million tonnes of waste every year that could have been composted. WRAP estimates a quarter of this waste, around 150kg per household, could easily be composted at home but instead most end up in landfill.
When this happens waste breaks down and produces methane, a powerful global warming gas, so by composting your own organic household waste not only are you helping the environment but also producing a rich, nutritious compost to use on the garden.
More than 60,000 compost bins have already been sold across Yorkshire through schemes run by local councils. For more information about how to choose and where to buy a compost bin visit www.recyclenow.com/compost
There are some dos and don'ts.
Do add the right ingredients - a 50-50 mix of greens, for example tea bags, vegetable peelings, prunings, coffee grounds, tissues and paper napkins, egg boxes, shredded or scrunched up paper, all make great compost.
Don't add meat, fish or diary products to your compost bin because they attract vermin. Cooled vegetables and diseased plants should not be used either. Add greens and browns to top up the bin as the material at the bottom matures.