All across our planet, people are doing more than ever to create greener spaces. And that’s especially true in Florida, where water runoff can create serious problems. From businesses and theme parks like Disney to hotels like Celebration, that’s part of the Florida Green Lodging program, they’re all doing more than ever to help the environment.

And that’s true for homeowners too. And while many homeowners understand the value of gardening in an eco‐friendly manner, 
many of us need guidance on how to do it properly. Everyday, we unwittingly make 
bad choices for the environment when we are simply trying to beautify our 
landscapes. Something as simple as choosing the right plant-for-the-right-place can 
greatly reduce the impact we have on the earth.

Home landscape before

After addressing some sustainable issues

In this episode Joe and Patti touch on some of the 
most common mistakes we all make, most of the time without realizing it. They offer practical, simple tips for gardening
 in a more earth‐friendly way as they help one homeowner begin a sustainable landscaping project.

Along with great ideas for the outside, even something as easy as the addition of house plants will help improve overall indoor air quality as well. This episode also demonstrates to the viewer how taking just a
 few of these actions will help create healthier plants, cleaner air and a safer 
environment for us all to enjoy.

Patti and Liz Felter discuss the benefits of indoor plants at the Gaylord Palms Hotel

For more information

Click here for a list of plants that clean the air inside your home.

Natural Resources Conservation Service Suggestions for efficient watering techniques

EDIS University of Florida Extension

University of Florida Extension Master Gardeners

Find the County Extension Service in your area


Growing A Greener World is a national gardening series on Public Television that features organic gardening, green living and farm to table cooking. Each episode focuses on compelling and inspirational people making a difference through gardening. This gardening series covers everything from edible gardening and sustainable agriculture to seasonal cooking and preserving the harvest.

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  1. Cheryl Jarrett says

    Episode 102 had a segment on installing water collection barrels. Is there someplace, that I can get some written instructions on that process. I’ve wanted to set up a couple of these systems but am having trouble finding the barrels. Would large, strong, plastic trash cans be sufficient? Where could I find the diverter for the downspout? Thanks in advance for any suggestions you have on this matter.

    Cheryl Jarrett

    • Joe says

      Hi Cheryl. In regards to generic written instructions, we checked google for the term “rainbarrel installation instructions”. I think you’ll find what you are looking for there as we found numerous entries for this search term. Of course, each commercial rain barrel manufacturer will include specific instructions and in the case of the rain barrel you saw installed in episode 102, the diverter system was unique to that makers barrel. Most rain barrels I’ve seen in use are placed directly under the downspout so the diverter is not an issue. In those cases, either the excess water overflows the barrel or a drain tube is inserted near the top to allow excess water to escape.
      Strudy plastic trash cans are probobly not a good idea as they may lake the necessary reinforcement to contain the pressure excerted by a full barrel of water. However, many people use food grade plastic barrels that are readily available in the food trade. Many food products are stored in these and companies are often happy for you to take them off their hands. Another great option is to contact your county extension service. They ofen have rain barrel programs. For a nominal fee, they may sell you one or at the very least, have great information for you to make your own.
      Good luck and let us know if you need any more information.

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