Green Living in the Desert

IMG_3345_130725At the Phoenix Public Market we are dedicated to sustainable living and embracing our natural environment here in the desert.  Our mission is to encourage and inform our community about the benefits of a simpler lifestyle and to teach the importance of protecting our natural environment.  Sustainable living can seem overwhelming at times, but can actually make your life easier and help you save money.   Taking a look at our current lifestyles and making small changes can go a long way.  We are here to support those steps.

In the desert start with reducing our waste, eating native foods and harvesting water.   Read more to discover where to begin, what you can learn at the market and how to support a Greener Desert.

Also, this weekend check out our workshop: Harvesting Nopal.  More details here.

Reduce Waste: Many items you generally toss into the garbage can either be recycled, reused or even better used for composting!   Compost is simply rich, organic soil that is made as micro-organisms decompose yard and kitchen waste.  It can make grass greener, tomatoes bigger, and bushes bushier.  Compost can replace some fertilizer and reduce the amount of water a yard needs because it adds nutrients and increases the water-holding capacity of soil.

Want to learn more about composting and reducing your waste?  Keep Phoenix Beautiful and Recycled City will be at the market this weekend and are knowledgeable organizations dedicated to a greener desert.

Eat Local & Native Plants:  If you are shopping at the market you are already doing a great job at supporting local agriculture and eating local.  Shift the way we think about our diets and focus on the native plants that grow right here in the desert.  When landscaping, focus on filling your yard with edible plants.  With budgets tightening and many concerns about the chemicals in our food, many people are considering growing edible plants instead of just pretty flowers.

This weekend at the market discover how to grow, harvest and prepare Nopal.  A desert landscape favorite, this edible plant has many health benefits and has been in native diets for centuries.  Find more details on this special Spring Workshop here and discover future opportunities to learn about harvesting in the desert.

Harvest Water:  There are a variety of ways to reduce your water use impact and waste.  Simple steps like turning off the faucet when we brush our teeth, shampoo our hair or scrub pots can significantly help.  However, try taking your efforts a step further, especially with monsoon season approaching.   Rain Water Harvesting is simply collecting, storing and purifying the rainfall that falls on your roof.  It can be used for irrigation, flushing toilets, washing clothes, washing cars, pressure washing, or it can be purified for use as everyday drinking water.

In addition to being the most ecological form of irrigation, rainwater also happens to be the best water for your plants!  Ever wonder why your plants seem to perk up after a rain?  Rainwater is naturally free of salts and contains dissolved nitrogen and other compounds that act like fertilizer for the plants in your garden.  Imagine being able to give your plants rainwater throughout the year and not just when it happens to rain.

Want to learn about how to harvest rainwater this monsoon season?  Check out our May workshop with Valley Permaculture Alliance.

Interested to discover more?  Check out Green Desert.

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