Support World Environment Day…grow a beard! (and plant a tree or two too)

This Sunday, June 5, is World Environment Day (WED). If you weren’t aware such a thing existed (it’s been around since 1972), WED is an annual event that is aimed at being the biggest and most widely celebrated global day for positive environmental action.

Basically, WED is a day for people from all walks of life to come together to ensure a cleaner, greener and brighter outlook for themselves and future generations. Even Nick Offerman–you might know him better as Ron Swanson from NBC’s Parks and Recreation–has teamed up with Budweiser to promote its “Grow One. Save a Million” campaign. “Grow One. Save a Million” encourages men to grow beards “as awesome as Offerman’s” and therefore conserve water. According to Budweiser, on average, a man uses 5 gallons of water every time he shaves. The company hopes enough men will take the pledge to put down the razor to save one million gallons of water. You can read the full (and hilarious) story at Entertainment Weekly and Budweiser’s Facebook page.

It’s a great start, but if you’re more inclined to do something, like plant a tree or make some green changes to your lawn, we’ve got two books for you.

The Successful Gardener Guide: North Carolina
Edited by Leah Chester-Davis and Toby Bost

While this book is a complete how-to resource for North Carolina gardeners, Leah and Toby devoted an entire chapter of their book to “enviro-tips.” These tips share ways novice and expert gardeners alike can implement practices to minimize their carbon footprint, ensure sustainability, and take care of precious natural resources. Topics range from best management practices and water quality to irrigation and weed control.

Have you ever wondered…

  • How can I reduce the amount of water I use in the garden?
  • What is “grasscycling?”
  • How do I create a green roof?
  • What should i ask myself before using a pesticide?
  • Which plants help reduce disease and insects?

You’ll discover the answers to these questions and more in The Successful Gardener Guide. The book even tells you how to recycle newspapers by using them as mulch in your garden. And the best part? A percentage of the proceeds from book sales are going to the Tree Endowment Fund of Extension Foundation, a charity that Toby founded to help return canopy trees to our neighborhoods. It doesn’t get any better than that, does it?

Learn more at Toby’s blog and Leah’s Produce Lady site.


Rain Gardening in the South: Ecologically Designed Gardens for Drought, Deluge, and Everything in Between
By Helen Kraus and Anne Spafford (Eno Publishers)

Rain Gardening in the South (which won the Silver award of Achievement from the Garden Writers Association,  the Silver Benjamin Franklin Award in the Gardening/Agriculture category from the Independent Book Publishers Association, and an Honorable Mention in the Home & Garden category for the Eric Hoffer Award) is a colorful, readable how-to guide on creating beautiful gardens that capture and use water that runs off roofs, driveways, and other hard surfaces in our landscape.

Runoff from our yards, roofs, and driveways contributes more than a third of the pollution that ends up in our nation’s waterways. Rain gardens, which function as miniature water reservoirs and filtration systems, offer effective and visually pleasing solutions that dramatically reduce toxic runoff, resulting in cleaner rivers, lakes, and oceans.

This book addresses the specific environmental circumstances of southern gardens, including climate issues, plant selection, and soil types. The book offers readers step-by-step instruction on constructing such gardens, from the design stage to post-planting maintenance. It also includes extensive design tips, plant lists, and soil amendment instructions, as well as a chapter on troubleshooting.

Rain Gardening in the South and The Successful Gardener Guide are available wherever books are sold. They’re a great way to spend World Environment Day (although I’m sure growing a beard couldn’t hurt too).


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