Ways to save money and the environment

Spring has sprung across much of the country and the ground is beginning to thaw.  That means it's time to get outdoors and start thinking about your lawn and garden.

But, before you start digging and planting, get a "green" plan.  It will be better for the environment and your wallet.  Try some of these tips from the experts at the EPA and the National Gardening Association.

Begin by starting a compost pile.  Food scraps can breakdown into an organic nutrient-rich matter that will turn ordinary soil into a gardener's dream.  You won't need to buy as much fertilizer, cutting down on your costs and the chemicals you introduce into the environment.

Be conscientious about watering.  You don't want to drench your lawn and garden.  It's not good for the plants, and it's not good for your water bill.  Water early in the morning to prevent too much evaporation.  You can collect rain water runoff, or redirect downspouts into your garden or a retaining area.

Grow your own food.  Homegrown fruits, veggies and herbs won't just save you money on your grocery bill.  They will also cut down on your carbon footprint because you won't be buying goods that took a long gasoline-fueled trip to your local grocery store.

Make it a community project.  Getting neighbors involved to beautify and landscape communal areas will make for a more pleasant living environment and could boost your home's curb appeal to prospective buyers.  

So roll up your sleeves and grab a shovel.  Make this the year you earn your green thumb.

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