Small Changes That Make a Big Impact on Climate Change

Small Changes That Make a Big Impact on Climate Change

The way you landscape your home can actually help combat climate change. But it doesn't require a major overhaul to make a big difference for our local environment.

Are you a gardening guru with a proverbial green thumb? Or maybe you're simply an aspiring landscape architect looking to turn an interest in your yard into a productive hobby that will also make a positive impact on your local environment.

The way you landscape your home can actually help combat climate change and support strategies in San Antonio's Climate Action Adaptation Plan.

Developed by SA Climate Ready, an initiative led by the City of San Antonio, CPS Energy, UTSA and Navigant, the plan outlines ways to meet present and future challenges of a changing climate, including strategies for reducing our city's greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to our warming climate.

Establishing a landscape that enhances the natural environment and processes can help decrease the effects of climate change. Here's how you can help.

Use composts composed primarily of vegetation and manures and low tilling to keep greenhouse gases trapped in the ground.

Opt to compost waste coming out of your garden and your kitchen, instead of sending it to the local landfill. This helps reduce methane gas production, one of the most potent greenhouse gases.

Consider a yard you don't have to mow. You'll reduce the need for gasoline-powered lawn tools and you won't have to worry about frequent watering.

Reduce overall water consumption in your garden by applying mulch and using drip irrigation.

Save that precious rain. Collect and reuse it for outdoor watering. Sign up for the WaterSaver Rewards program so you can earn points for a $30 coupon to use toward the purchase of a recommended rain barrel.

Mix it up! Fill your landscape with a diverse ecosystem of native plants, trees and shrubs to help it attract beneficial pollinators and fight off unwanted pests. Take advantage of the WaterSaver Landscape Coupon to replace your lawn drought-tolerant, low-maintenance plants.

Plant a tree or several. When planted in the right place, trees can save up to 25 percent of the energy a typical household uses. Trees also increase your property value.

Douglas Melnick is the chief sustainability officer for the City of San Antonio.

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