Land Reclamation - What Can You Do?
People place great demands on resources and the
land. Most reclamation projects are carried out by industry and
governments but each and every person can still make a big difference by
becoming more aware of what you are buying, using and wasting.
The informed consumer can purchase fewer household goods
which might harm the environment. Your local library is a good
place to start learning about such things as natural pest control.
Learn how to plant onions, marigolds, garlic, basil or thyme, and weed
regularly to ward off pests. Start a compost heap with vegetable
scraps which are full of rich nutrients for your garden. Weed
gardens and lawns by hand rather than using pesticides. Used motor
oil can be dropped off at a collection depot to be re-refined
(recycled). By reducing, reusing and recycling your household
wastes you can cut back on the amount of material going to
landfills. This is important when you consider much of our waste
is derived from non-renewable resources.
Some other tips:
Practice Good Land Use Ethics:
That may sound grand but practicing good land use ethics can be as
simple as remembering not to litter or disturb things when you are
walking, biking, hiking or just enjoying the natural world. Good
land use practices to follow include staying on trails, cleaning up your
camp and picnic sites, packing out what you pack in, and using off
highway vehicles only in designated areas. Reducing our use of
non-renewable resources like coal, oil, sand and gravel can also help
conserve both the resource and the land. Using common sense is the
best protection and sets an example which others can follow.
Practice Land Management:
Soil conservation is the basis of good land management and is very
important in agriculture. A healthy supply of nutrients in the soil
can be maintained by leaving stubble and other organic matter on the
fields so that these nutrients can be recycled into the soil.
Farmers can rotate crops, keep stubble on fields after
harvest, plant crops perpendicular to prevailing winds and erect
shelterbelts to protect the soil form erosion. Farmers are
encouraged to prevent overgrazing, not to burn, and practice zero and
minimum till farming. Local agriculture offices can provide
information on new and existing techniques which can save time and money
and contribute to land conservation.
You can also manage your own urban land. You can
use fewer herbicides and pesticides, compost your yard and food wastes,
and water the lawn efficiently. If you wish to be even more
creative, plant native species or replace your traditional lawn with
other forms of groundcover.
Reprinted from Focus On Land Reclamation (1999) with permission of