By Brittany Fetterly, Marketing & Communications Intern
Choosing our New Year’s resolutions can be lot easier than sticking to them, but this year, instead of saying we’ll go to the gym every day, eat healthier or drive less, why not make a garden resolution? Why not try to make our yards or houses a little greener? Here are five resolutions you could try in 2020:
Regenerate the Soil
Start regenerative gardening. Erosion and deforestation have caused a lot of damage to our once rich and organically dense soil. According to The United Nations Food & Agricultural Organization, soil as we know it may be gone by 2050 so it’s up to us to take charge and make a difference. Start composting, using organic fertilizers and tilling with worms and soil amendments like biochar—a charcoal like substance made from burning organic material—to safely restore carbon, reduce chemical runoff and rebuild and restore degraded soil.
Become a Plant Parent
House plants are becoming more common as younger generations have less space, time and money. Plants can help clean the air, add color to a room, give a sense of responsibility and connect you with nature, so it’s no wonder house plants are seeing a greater percentage of growth than shrubs, trees or perennials. The most common plants with young generations are succulents and indoor aloe plants.
Be Frog Friendly
Resolution number 3 sounds pretty wild, but it’s worth it: be more frog friendly. In nature, silence is not a good thing and if your back yard isn’t croaking at night, something might be a little off. Frogs and toads prey on pests like mosquitoes, slugs and plant-damaging beetles, however these amphibians are going missing at an alarming rate. So it’s important to create frog-friendly spaces. A few ways to do that is to create a shallow, fishless pond with still water—no pumps or waterfalls—and to make sure you don’t clean the water. Frogs need food sources too and uncleaned water is a breeding ground for their bug brunch.
Become a Green Leader
This sounds easy enough but reusing things can be challenging. That’s why resolution number 4 is: think greener. This could mean not buying something from a company that isn’t ecofriendly, or it could mean taking something apart and turning it into something else. We live in a consumptive society where only 9% of materials consumed globally are reused. Next time you’re going to make a purchase, think about what you could get out of that product once its main use is done—in other words, think about restoration rather than end-of-life.
Learn More about Horticulture
By the year 2023, it’s expected that there will be a shortage of garden professionals and this can be seen already. Jobs in Horticulture outnumber graduates 2 to 1 which means there is a need for horticulturists, but when it comes to choosing a major, plants usually aren’t the first thing on the mind. Green careers aren’t just for younger generations either—older generations are taking on jobs like vacation waterers and plant whisperers so the opportunities in green careers span all ages!
New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be boring. We don’t always have to try to save more money or drink less soda. We can do things that benefit more than us like recycling, looking after plants or even visiting your local botanical garden (like Green Bay Botanical Garden) more often. Go ahead and make some garden- or plant-themed resolutions for 2020 and beyond!