Climate-Friendly Garden Pledge

Climate-Friendly Garden Pledge 

Gardeners know that even small shifts in weather can affect their outdoor plans. But what about global warming? Scientists expect that unless we take action today, global warming could fundamentally change weather patterns in many regions, resulting in droughts and floods, along with conditions that favor certain garden pests and weeds.

The good news is that by taking a few simple steps, gardeners can create healthy soil and a beautiful landscape that also helps fight climate change. A “climate-friendly” garden stores (or prevents the release of) global warming pollution—such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane. The Union of Concerned Scientists has identified a number of ways in which you can transform your everyday garden into a climate-friendly garden.

Sign our pledge today to commit to adopting climate-friendly gardening practices!

But that’s not all you can do. As opportunities arise, we’ll be looking to you to tell your policy makers in Washington to reward farmers who adopt climate-friendly practices on a much larger scale than the home garden. We can make an even bigger dent in global warming pollution by helping farms across America become part of the climate solution!

For more information, see The Climate-Friendly Gardener: A Guide to Combating Global Warming from the Ground Up.



Build healthy soil that keeps heat-trapping carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and reduces the need for herbicides, insecticides, and fertilizers, which generate global warming pollutants.
    • * Have garden soil professionally tested to know your fertilizer needs and avoid over-applying.
    • * In vegetable gardens, rotate crop locations from year to year to help keep pests and diseases at bay, reducing the need for energy-intensive chemicals.
    • * Plant cover crops when other plants aren’t growing to protect and improve soil, increase carbon storage in soil, and reduce the need for fossil fuel-based fertilizers.

Choose low-emission garden tools and products.
    • * Weed, prune, and rake leaves by hand and use an electric or push lawn mower.
    • * Replace synthetic fertilizers and pesticides with compost and natural pest-control methods.Avoid peat, using compost or peat-free potting and seed-starting mixes instead. 

Store carbon and save energy with trees and shrubs.
    • * Plant trees and shrubs with long life expectancy that can store carbon for many years.
    • * Position new trees where they will shade your home in summer or provide protection from winter winds.

Recycle yard and food waste.
    • * Reduce heat-trapping methane emissions from landfills by making compost at home or as part of a city-wide program.
    • * Use compost in the garden to replace energy-intensive fertilizers and store carbon in the soil.

Make my lawn “greener.”
    • * If you have a lawn, leave grass clippings to fertilize the soil, reducing the need for added fertilizer and increasing carbon storage.
    • * Minimize watering, which has been linked to increased emissions of heat-trapping nitrous oxide from lawns.

Point the way to climate-friendly farms.
    • * Tell Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to support farmers who adopt climate-friendly agricultural practices such as cover cropping and crop rotation and who reduce their use of chemical fertilizers, insecticides, and herbicides. 
    • * Stay tuned for alerts from UCS on opportunities to take action!

We Need Your Support
to Make Change Happen

We can transform the U.S. agricultural system to prioritize investments in healthy foods and farms —but not without you. Your generous support helps develop science-based solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.