Cultivate Healthy Soil
You don’t need to use chemical fertilizers to have a thriving garden. Creating garden beds and landscapes that have active underground ecosystem of earthworms and microorganisms that keep plants healthy can be achieved using composted soil with organic materials that include micronutrients and minerals. Applying compost also provides an aerated, non-compacted base for plant roots to thrive and to absorb water and nutrients, which is key in ensuring plant health. Healthy plants mean better wildlife habitat.
Conventional lawns and many ornamental exotic plants require an exorbitant amount of clean water to stay green. Choosing native plants that are adapted to regional rainfall and soil moisture content is a great way to conserve this precious resource. You can also collect water in rain barrels for use in the garden.
In suburban and urban areas, much of the water that hits the landscape washes away down the storm drains, often carrying pollutants and soil with it. Reducing your lawn in favor of densely planted garden beds helps minimize runoff, and you can plant a rain garden specifically designed to collect and absorb rainwater to keep if from pouring into storm drains.
Water is a precious commodity. Humans extract it from the ground and as a result, the water table may drop, damaging habitats miles away. We divert water from rivers and lakes which reduces flow rate, possibly impacting fish, herons, otters, mussels, and thousands of other kinds of wildlife.