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Gardening to reduce your carbon footprint


by Kate Bradbury

How hard would it be to design green roofs for cars? Just imagine: you stop off to pick up some groceries, and on returning to your car, you find it's alive with the sight and sound of butterflies...


Green roof: but would it work on a car?How hard would it be to design green roofs for cars? Just imagine: you stop off to pick up some groceries, and on returning to your car, you find it's alive with the sight and sound of butterflies and bees tucking into the supply of nectar on its roof. Lovely.

You could tailor your green roof to your car's make and model - a retro motor like a bronze, Ford Cortina would suit a roof of dandelions, daisies and bird's foot trefoil, while a fancy new Porsche could sport a colour co-ordinated neat roll of sedum matting. You wouldn't have to spoil your paintwork - it could attach to the car like a roof rack, and you could even change it with the seasons. The challenge, of course, would be to design a green roof that wouldn't weigh anything, so as not to increase petrol consumption, and the less mud the better I suppose, if you love your car.

Seriously though, there are many ways to reduce your carbon footprint, and driving around with a load of flowers on your roof probably wouldn't cut it. Planting trees is an obvious choice: native British trees don't just absorb CO2, but provide food and shelter for wildlife. Composting helps reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill and journeys to take it there, and growing your own fruit and veg reduces food waste and food miles. Reducing, reusing and recycling gardening sundries and using sites like Freecycle result in less waste going to landfill. And then there's the peat issue. Peat bogs lock in CO2, preventing it from escaping into the earth's atmosphere, so reducing the amount of peat we use in our gardens can help preserve these habitats.

In the meantime, I'm off to patent my idea of green roofs for cars. But do you think it would work? Would you add a green roof to your car?



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Gardeners' World Web User 30/01/2010 at 11:55

i reuse my 4pint plastic milk bottles by filling them with rain water and building a wall with them, which gets dismantled when the veg. garden needs water and the rain water butts are empty. It works very well. I do not have a car but my garage roof is covered with Clematis montana and all vertical surfaces have climbers up them Gardening vertically as well as horizontally is a great idea.

Gardeners' World Web User 31/01/2010 at 10:42

What a wonderfully silly idea, Kate. i don't think it would work on my 2CV. perhaps a hanging basket would be better. Dot.

Gardeners' World Web User 01/02/2010 at 18:25

One wonders what a hive of bees would think if they were on the top of your car as you did 70mph along the M40. God help you if you ground to a halt in a traffic jam next to someone with one of those on their roof, there'd be a lot of angry bees!

Gardeners' World Web User 01/02/2010 at 18:48

Being concerned about climate change is like worrying about your next hemorrhoid. It may happen, it may not..You can't predict it with any kind of accuracy and surely human kind can do nothing to stop it...Really FOOLS live your bloody lives and stop listening to nancy progressives for god's sake...

Gardeners' World Web User 01/02/2010 at 20:48

I could plant a garden in the back of my Nissan pickup. That's 24 sq feet, give or take, with the endgate closed. I could move it into the sun on nice days, and re-route the downspout to irrigate. Joking, but it's not the worst idea I've ever had.

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