Category: This and that

By Emma Croft

As more reports of environmental tragedies show up in the news, the level of climate anxiety among people rises. According to a survey conducted by Yale, 76% of people are aware climate change is an issue of concern. The number of individuals with anxiety and depression surrounding environmental decline is increasing, resulting in a condition called eco-anxiety.

Old School Garden invites you to read on for some ideas on how to fight climate change in your corner of the world.

Making Changes to Relieve Climate Anxiety

Anxiety from climate change can come from several sources, including personal experience of floods or fires, regretting your detrimental contributions, or exposure to increasing news footage. However, you can take steps to help combat eco-anxiety:

  • Change your habits. Evaluate your carbon footprint to determine what you can change. For example, riding a bike or walking to work reduces carbon emissions while improving your mental and physical condition. Limiting your meat and dairy intake keeps you healthier and reduces methane emissions from animal waste. You can use less plastic by choosing reusable beverage containers.
  • Don’t live with denial. Acknowledge climate change and how you’ve contributed to the problem. Forgive yourself for the past, realize you can’t solve the problem alone, and be a good influence on others by living green. Get proactive by planting trees and local wildflowers to promote insect pollination. 
  • Turn to the community. Dive Marketplace suggests taking part in group efforts, such as picking up trash, community gardening, and recycling projects. Supporting eco-friendly businesses and organizations helps give you emotional support and a sense that you’re not alone. 

Forming a Nonprofit and Using PDFs to Digitize Docs

Maybe you’ve tackled your carbon footprint, made changes, and now wish to make a more significant impact by starting a nonprofit organization or an eco-friendly business. The government favors loans and grants for nonprofits over private companies, especially nonprofits involving environmental advocacy, education, health and justice, or prevention and conservation. 

As a nonprofit organization, marketing your work on social media can be a great way to reach new supporters and raise awareness for your cause. When marketing on social media, consider your audience and what kind of messaging will resonate with them. Don’t forget to include calls to action in your posts so that your supporters know how they can get involved. If you want to share reports with your followers, you can digitize them by saving them as PDFs and perhaps upload them to Facebook or post on your website.

When digitizing paper records, instead of using many files, a PDF merging tool can keep all your related documents in one file, which will cut time on having to find a document. You can click here for more information on how to merge PDFs for your convenience.

Creating an Eco-Friendly Business

Starting an eco-friendly business to combat climate change requires coming up with an appropriate business idea, then using branding and marketing to your advantage. Your marketing efforts should include a combination of online and offline techniques. For instance, promote a local event on social media daily to build curiosity, and print your URL and Facebook information on receipts and business cards.  

Begin branding your eco-friendly business by choosing an appropriate business name and logo. People tend to be visually motivated, and your logo must be memorable and build trust. If your marketing budget is small, consider an online logo creation tool. Many of these tools allow you to select the desired fonts and graphic art and change text, colors, or styles. 

Support Conservation Efforts

The main thing to remember about reducing your anxiety over climate change is to take action against it.

Image via Pexels


Guest post by Emma Croft

Image via Unsplash

Beekeeping and gardening go hand-in-hand. Beekeepers who grow their own pollinator gardens provide year-round forage for colonies and an attractive environment for native bees and wild swarms. After setting up your custom handcrafted beehive, use this FAQ from Old School Garden to turn your backyard into a beekeeper’s paradise.

What are the must-haves for a bee-friendly garden?

  • Bees prefer areas away from human activity. Establish a space along the edge of your property to dedicate to pollinators and use massed plantings, anchor plants, and hardscaping for visual definition.
  • Water features provide necessary hydration to bees and other pollinators. Because bees are small and easily drown, a water feature for bees should include rocks and shallow areas for collecting water.
  • Be mindful of neighbors when keeping bees in suburban areas. Educate neighbors about bees and ask about pesticide use. If neighbors aren’t bee-friendly, consider conducting a property survey and erecting a fence to prevent future disputes.

What are the best plants for honey bees?

  • Honey bees visit a wide variety of blooming plants, but they’re especially attracted to white, yellow, blue, and purple flowers. Avoid double-flowering varieties, which are hard for bees to access.
  • Choose plants that bloom at different times to create year-round forage for bees. Pay special attention to spring and fall as nectar and pollen sources are sparse during these seasons.
  • Avoid rhododendron, mountain laurel, California buckeye, summer titi, and yellow jessamine in gardens where honeybees reside. These plants are poisonous to bees.

How can I control weeds and pests without harming bees?

  • Start by rethinking the way you view weeds. Southern Living points out that many common “weeds” are beneficial for bees. These include clover, dandelions, and native flowers.
  • Mulching, hand-picking, trapping, crop rotation, and other all-natural controls are the most bee-friendly ways to manage weeds and pests in the garden.
  • When pesticides are needed, choose low-toxicity formulas, apply in the late evening or early morning, and avoid spraying while plants are in bloom.

A bee-friendly garden is the perfect way to go above and beyond for your bees. With these tips, you can easily transform your ordinary backyard into an ideal habitat for honeybees.

Want to learn more about being a better gardener? Read more informative articles at Old School Garden.

GROW YOUR NETWORK     Connect with children and nature champions around the world in The Trailhead. This new online community is free and open to practitioners, educators, parents, researchers and anyone committed to connecting children, families and communities to the benefits of nature. The Trailhead is your place to: Connect with peers and grow your network Join a global community of changemakers working to increase equitable access to nature Learn, lead and increase your impact Find potential conference co-presenters in The Trailhead’s 2022 Inside-Out International Conference Group   SIGN UP     PRESENTING SPONSORS:
ShareWaste's Compost-Finding App Makes an Internet Community Grow | WIRED


I’m really grateful to one of my followers (and her daughter) for sending me this link to a very useful guide to home composting- hope its useful!

Björn Wickenberg

PhD Candidate at the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics, Lund University

Throughout the past year of working from home, I have gone for numerous morning, lunchtime and evening walks around my neighbourhood in the Eastern parts of Lund in Sweden. My neighbourhood has three dams for storing stormwater in the event of extreme rain. These help slow the water instead of overburdening the city’s underground water sewage system, which would increase the risk of flooding.

It was at one of these stormwater dams where I first made friends with a beautiful and majestic heron. Like other birds, the heron seems to have found its home here – and it moves between the three dams depending on the time of the day.

I once saw the heron catching a fish, like a better version of one of these TV shows about nature. This vivid image of the heron with the fish has stuck with me – maybe because I observed it directly with my own eyes.

I find myself returning to the image of the fish-catching heron and pondering on the fact that this bird and I depend on the same ecosystem. The heron for habitat and food, I for recreational purposes (like my pandemic-induced walks) and being saved from flooding. We are so separate, and yet connected.

Multifunctional spaces

These dams aren’t just a water management solution. When it’s cold, they freeze over and provide ice-skating facilities. As well as looking visually striking, they also provide ecosystems and a habitat for animals and wildlife to thrive in.

This kind of multifunctional infrastructure is becoming increasingly popular, with many cities adopting so-called “nature-based solutions” to not just solve environmental problems and safeguard biodiversity, but to also provide local people with recreation space.

In the Naturvation project, which looks at the potential of nature-based solutions to transform cities, nearly 1,000 examples from 100 cities have been collected.

One of my favourite examples is Melbourne’s Urban Forest Strategy, developed to adapt the city to climate change and to improve the wellbeing of people living there. The plan has seen the city increase the number of trees and green spaces.

It also involved setting up a database that maps all the trees in the city. Through this database, people have then been able to send e-mails to individual trees, as a way of connecting with and communicating their love for their favourite tree.

Read more

Guest article by Timi Schmidt

March and April can be very unpredictable, but if you are a gardener or you just love to spend time in your garden or yard, you’ll probably be out the first second the weather gets warm!

While you’re trying to enjoy the spring sunshine, dead plants and leaves can not only look bad and spoil your view, but can also be unhealthy for your garden.

Some early spring cleanup tasks are a given during this time of year. If you want to make your garden pretty and healthy for this season, just follow the steps in the spring cleanup checklist, above.

When to Clean Up Your Garden

We are all excited for spring to come and enjoy our outdoor space but it’s best to wait with cleaning it up until the soil defrosts and starts to dry out a bit.

Soil compaction caused from walking on soil while it’s still wet can make it very difficult for plants to grow later. Until then, you can just start with taking stock of your tools and cleaning them up.

How to Spring Clean Your Garden

There are plenty of tasks to complete in the spring cleaning season, from removing winter mulch to pruning shrubs, but this checklist has got you covered. To make things easier, you can download and print it out so you can take it with you into your garden (you can also download by clicking the image above). 

There is no better feeling than ticking off all the tasks from the checklist and having a clean and healthy garden for the rest of the year.

Happy Spring Cleaning!

Last week I passed a local cemetery and spotted some white mushrooms in the grasslands, on closer inspection I could see these were a white species of waxcap. Waxcaps are rare mushrooms which are largely dependent on ancient grasslands or those which are stable, i.e. not regularly ploughed up or disturbed.

#FungiFriday: a grave situation — Daniel Greenwood

Christmas at Winterbourne Margaret Nettlefold’s household diary provides fascinating insights into middle class life in late-Victorian and early-Edwardian England.  She clearly gave careful thought to Christmas presents and cards, and listed everything in the diary.For example in 1904, Margaret gave a camera (referred to as a ‘Kodak’) to her husband John, a shell cabinet to…

What did the Nettlefolds do for Christmas? — Winterbourne House and Garden

I’m very pleased to feature this week a guest post by Paul Wood. Paul is the author of three books about trees in London: London’s Street Trees, London is a Forest and London Tree Walks, and he writes the blog London Tree Walks, published in October 2020, features a dozen walks around London from […]

Great estates: the changing role of trees in the municipal housing landscape — Municipal Dreams

This autumn a collaborative conservation effort began at Robin Hood’s Bay to restore the cliff slope grassland there. It will be followed up with a programme of enhancement management to maintain this important habitat and its species. You can read about it on the excellent Connecting for Nature Blog.

Collaborative approaches — The official blog for the North York Moors National Park
Finding Nature

Nature Connectedness Research Blog by Prof. Miles Richardson

Norfolk Green Care Network

Connecting People with Nature

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A girl and her garden :)

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