The benefits of having a pond are numerous from having a place to relax and escape to adding a beautiful aesthetic to your yard. But did you know that water gardens are also good for the environment? Below are some ways that having a pond can lower your carbon footprint.
Reduce Water Usage
Reducing water usage doesn’t only have to be about cutting down on consumption. Using rainwater in a productive manner is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Ponds help to collect rainwater and avoid runoff into sewers. This water can then be used to irrigate your lawn and plants by installing a pump or using gravity to feed the hoses. You can also just hand water plants and gardens. The stored rainwater can also be used to wash vehicles; fill ponds, fountains, and swimming pools; and used in your home toilets and washers but check local regulations before trying this. If you are using rainwater to fill your pond just make sure to use treatments to protect your pond from runoff and chemicals that can cause algae and throw off the balance of the pond’s aquatic environment.
Composting has many benefits for the environment. According to Darby Hoover, NRDC’s senior resource specialist in the Food and Agriculture program, and master home composter, “Compost adds nutrients and organic matter back to soil, which benefits agriculture, reduces our reliance on synthetic fertilizers, diverts methane-producing organic materials from landfills, and improves soil’s water retention capacity so you don’t need to water as much”. Sludgy green algae from your water garden, is actually a valuable ingredient in composting. Beneficial bacteria, like pond scum and algae, are living organisms that are rich sources of nitrogen, an essential nutrient for the millions of decomposing bacteria at work on your compost. Composting is an organic, natural, and cost efficient way to fertilize plants and soil while helping plants grow bigger, helping soil hold on to nutrients and water, and reducing the risk of pollution. To learn how to use pond scum to compost in your own backyard, check out our blog Using Biological Waste From Your Pond as Fertilizer.
Provide A Backyard Wildlife Habitat
Having a pond is a way to provide a backyard wildlife habitat. We discussed how to do this in our post on creating a mini sanctuary for wildlife in winter. Your pond will be a “naturescape” that provides basic needs like food, water, and shelter. Basic elements are offered like fresh water from the pond; plants and feeders provide sustenance for birds, insects, deer, etc; and rocks, trees, bushes and/or bird houses provide shelter and a place for nesting. You can find many of the materials to create this habitat at your local Home Depot.
Implement some of these strategies to help create a better environment by reducing your carbon footprint!