Prevent Climate Change Starting With Your Own Yard

How utilizing land regeneration techniques in your yard can benefit you and the earth
How to help prevent climate change in your own yard
Photo Credit by Monicore at Pexels

There is a new buzzword in the air regarding climate control, and that is Land Regeneration. Woody Harrelson narrates the new film “Kiss the ground” that aired recently on Netflix and has us all wondering if this really is the answer and how we can help.

Land regeneration helps in reversing the degradation of the soil and it is not just for the agricultural sector but can also apply to anyone who owns a yard of any size. Anyone can take small steps towards making a difference.

What is Land regeneration?

Land regeneration is a practice that consciously creates and nurtures healthy soil. It is a process that works with the land and focuses on biodiversity and native material for growth and soil optimization. It zeros in on the habitat of the fungus and microorganisms that make the soil function at its optimal and most natural level.  

Why is Land regeneration important?

Regeneration has many global benefits. Globally It can help reduce the carbon in our soil and work towards regaining the balance in our ecosystems. It encourages biodiversity and can work towards restoring disappearing habitats such as grasslands and wetlands. 

  • There is a cycle of nutrient dispersal that happens in our soils. We are all familiar with the process of photosynthesis, or the oxygen/carbon dioxide cycle with trees. But very few of us know the nutrient cycling happening in the soil, and it is just as important to know and keep it going to help climate control.
  • Land regeneration can help regulate the damage done by extreme weather such as floods or drought.
  • Soil plays a role in the purification of our water. 
  • Land regeneration is a major human resource that provides us with food, medicine, other raw materials, and energy

Globally It can help reduce the carbon in our soil and work towards regaining the balance in our ecosystems. It encourages biodiversity and can work towards restoring disappearing habitats such as grasslands and wetlands. 

How you can take action in your own yard?

There is nothing that irritates this nature lover more than when people who own big houses with lovely plots of land tear it all up and put gravel or even worse, that plastic fake grass.

There are so many budget-friendly ways of helping out this beautiful planet we get to call home rather than choking her with disastrous decisions. I love the idea that land regeneration can bridge the gap of luscious natural lawns with minimal maintenance, and gain some wisdom along the way. 

It is attainable for every individual who has access to maintaining a patch of earth. You can easily take action towards contributing to correcting climate change.

Here are the ways in which you can actively work towards land regeneration in your own yard to prevent climate change and save the planet.

1. Buy native plants

Native plants are created and designed to thrive in that environment. Therefore they naturally require less from us to survive. They provide the proper nourishment for both the soil and the insects and animals around them.

Native plants work together to create relationships with other native plants necessary for maintaining biodiversity and protecting each unique interconnected ecosystem. More and more local nurseries are popping up dedicated to nothing but native plants.

There are two in my area that also comes to your home and does consultations based on the specifics of your property.  It is a process that we just need to hold the space for and give it the time it needs to build itself back up.

I visited the local native nursery to inquire where to start in this process and was instructed to start with native grasses. There is something about beginning with grasses that help build up the fungus in the soils.

Unless the fungus levels in the soils are established the microorganisms needed for healthy soils won't survive let alone thrive. My local nursery was very informative and helped me learn what I needed to do to encourage the proper fungal network for the soil in my area. 

Bringing in non-native varieties can do damage to our biodiversity. They are biologically altered to survive in areas they are not meant to be. They also require more care and possibly require more work such as soil adaptation, irrigation, and fertilizers all of which deplete the soil. 

Planting non-native plants can also upset the natural balance by possibly spreading and overtaking the native plants. This disrupts the plant and animal life cycles and food chains which profoundly change our native biological communities. It puts our native plants, insects, and animals at risk. When our native plants become threatened and endangered our animals become endangered too.

If you love your English roses and your magnificent showy peonies and trust me, I am with you on this. Plant them in pots and bring them inside for the winter months. Planting them in pots is not as harmful as in the earth itself. Plant varieties that you know will not self-seed or regenerate easily reducing the risk of them being evasive to native plants in your neighbor's garden or the nearby parks.

2. Try Composting

Don't panic, you don’t necessarily have to do it yourself, just use it. Buying Compost for your garden instead of buying pre-mixed potting soils bought from local garden centers is far more beneficial for the earth. Composts bring much-needed nutrients back into the soil,  helps retain moisture, and work to neutralize the pH balance of the soil.

Our city gives the composting they produce from the green bins they collect away for free. You set up a time to come and pick it up at the composting stations around the city. Compost is readily available if you know where to look.

If you are gung ho and willing to put on your composting hat fantastic! Many of us don't have the time or the space in which to do it properly, but that doesn't mean we can't put the effort in to use it. There are many different ways in which you can compost yourself and is worth the research to find out which method might be right for you.

3. Let your leaves lie where they fall

Leaves and even the grass after mowing your lawn (should you not be able to part with it) is a way of passive composting. Think about it. The nutrients left in the debris from our living plants feed our soil. They help retain the moisture from evaporating and can help to suppress weeds.

They also provide food for little composting companions such as earthworms and other beneficial bugs that we need to help grow these beautiful ecosystems. The leaves and grass left on the ground not only provide shelter and places to lay eggs for these insects but also provide homes to hibernating animals such as frogs, food, and nest-building materials for Robin's and other birds. 

There are benefits and growth that come from actively participating in land regeneration for the individual too.

Soil regeneration can save you time and money as well as grow and expand your connection towards the earth and all its inhabitants. Regeneration is also a way in which we can learn, honor, and preserve traditional knowledge of the land itself creating a conscious path to help protect it and connect us with future generations. 

4. Saves time and money

Use native plants that look just as green and lush as a freshly mowed lawn, without the hassle of mowing. Do the research.  Putting in the time to gain the knowledge of what groundcover and cover crops, such as clover, will work for you will save you time in the long run.

You can have an eco-friendly and no-maintenance lawn without suffocating the earth by planting native ground coverings.  This saves time and money.  It has little maintenance or upkeep, helps the earth regenerate and retain water, and is still esthetically pleasing. 

5. Connects us to nature

By paying attention to what is happening in our own spaces we are also increasing our connection to Nature itself. Nature nurtures our souls, whether you are conscious of this or not you can't deny that being outdoors offers adventure, solace, peace, and can stabilize us during uncertain and stressful times.

Putting a little attention and love into the corners closest to us can create a space we can be proud of and retreat to. Calming restorative places in our own yard to reconnect to nature and even ourselves.

6. Preserve traditional knowledge

If you really get drawn into the idea of reclamation, getting us connected to the land can lead us down the rabbit hole gaining us a wealth of traditional knowledge. 

Learning about our native plants can lead you down a road of greater understanding of indigenous farming systems and the passing on of traditional knowledge of the land itself. It gets us aware of our connection to the land and thinking more about the seven-generation principle. That is the idea of asking yourself the question of how is this going to affect life for the future. Will it sustain, provide for, and nourish us seven generations from now? 

Getting us to think about companion planting; knowing which type of native plants can best support each other when we plant them next to one has its roots in native tradition too. One of my favorite connections with regenerative agriculture (it can translate to any type of plant Earth relationship though) is the Three sisters.

It is an idea in which three different plants corn, beans, and squash work as a team and support each other in their growth by giving something of themselves that the others need. I hold this practice in my mind every time I plan out my garden each year. 

Another is the idea of reciprocity. We don't just take, we have to give back and gather respectfully. Want to learn more about the practice of reciprocity. I can't recommend any other book higher than Braiding Sweet Grass by Robin Wall Kimmerer.

In conclusion 

Putting in a little time and effort to care for your own lawn with regenerative practices in mind can have positive effects both personally and globally. Envision your backyard as woodland with wildflowers or catch the beauty of the wind in the wheat fields by planting native grasses of varying heights. Get excited about the beauty of it all. The Earth will thank you.

Mother of four. Nature lover, Gardener, crafter, and certified soul coach.

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