The term ‘eco’ is used to describe anything that helps to sustain the local ecology. Eco mulch, then, is a form of mulch that is often locally-sourced and sustainable. Using eco mulch minimizes strain on the environment by decreasing resource consumption and reducing waste.
So, then, what can you use for eco mulch? You may also be wondering if it is easy to obtain and how to find it. These questions, and more, we answer in today’s article.
(It’s important to note that EcoMulch is also the name of a company that delivers this type of mulch. However, before contacting a company, you may want to see if you can source eco mulch in your town, neighborhood, or even your yard.)
What Exactly Is Eco Mulch?
Depending on who you ask, eco mulch is any sort of mulch that is ecologically friendly. However, there are some varying perspectives on what actually constitutes this particular type of mulch.
Some people consider mulch made from wood by-products that are unusable by companies like the logging industry. While this would certainly fit our definition of eco-mulch, we would like to expand a bit further and say that eco-mulch can be anything that minimizes waste and increases resource availability.
In other words, anything that can be ‘upcycled’ and used as mulch – especially goods or plant materials that would otherwise just go to waste – is considered eco mulch.
Where to Get Eco Mulch
There are a few ways that you can get high-quality, ecologically-friendly mulch. Where you source your mulch depends on what type is available in your region.
- Straw/hay. Many farmers have extra straw/hay they will part with for cheap or free.
- Corn husks. If you live near cornfields you may be able to ask for old cornhusks, especially if you offer to take them away for free.
- Chemical-free sawdust or wood chips which can often be acquired from lumber mills. Many logging or tree service companies are happy to part with sawdust, even offering to deliver it to peoples’ doors.
- Composted manures which may be available at farms in your area.
- Lawn clippings. Try to save your lawn clippings by using a bag mower. These clippings can then be directly repurposed as mulch.
- Cardboard/newspaper. While cardboard and newspaper might not be the most ecologically friendly things on the planet, using them as mulch allows us to get more use out of them than they would otherwise. Recycling newspaper and cardboard requires a lot of additional resources (gas, electricity, etc.) whereas using it as mulch requires no extra resources and helps your garden produce more.
Some combination of the above would work well. You can use old newspapers, spread that on your garden, and then cover with a thin layer of organic mulch. The possibilities are endless!
Using eco mulch is a great way to reduce waste and improve the environment. Mulching is also a great way to make the best of your own homemade garden supplies.
If you really want to make the most of your space, consider trying to garden everywhere – including on concrete! This article on building raised garden beds on concrete will help you make the most of your property.