Longford Tidy Towns encourages composting

Anne MacDonnell

Reporter:

Anne MacDonnell

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Longford Tidy Towns PRO

Longford Tidy Towns encourages composting

A lovely goldfinch. Also as part of a new project Longford Tidy Towns is encouraging people to start their own composting bins

Longford Tidy Towns Group got off to a great start this year, holding their first meeting of the year in March.

An excellent plan was put in place and we were determined to have Longford Town particularly, and the surrounding area, looking beautiful while we would wait for the arrival of the Tidy Towns judges in June.

Hopefully we would receive a prize or two for Longford Town later on in the year, we thought. We even hoped to move up to silver this year, from bronze in the past years, so an early start was the key to success.

Alas, that was not to be. The coronavirus put an end to all of our group activities so now we are just depending on what individuals, like you and me, can do on our own, and in our own immediate areas, while strictly adhering to all the Government guidelines.

Since Longford Town is our town, and in order to make it a more pleasant place in which to live for us, and for the people who visit or come to shop, we are asking property owners to do whatever they can to make their own home or business or shop, look clean and cheerful and bright and weed free on the outside.

Maybe the external walls could benefit from a good cleaning and painting, and maybe the gate as well, if you have one.

Maybe the weeds in the immediate area around your own property could be removed and maybe while we are in this present “lock down “ we could all cheer each other up by planting up a few window boxes or maybe even a tub and having them out on display for all to see and enjoy, and even for the bees to come and feed on and enjoy too.

New Project

This year we have decided to embark on a new project and we are excited about it. We are hoping to encourage as many people as possible to join us and start their own composting bins in their own back gardens.

Most of us in Tidy Towns are already doing it. We find it reduces the amount going into our wheelie bins, which in turn has to go to landfill, and of course be paid for. We are told a third of all household waste is organic and that all vegetable matter can be composted, making a nutrient rich food for our gardens or window boxes. So why waste it ?

We feel we save money and we help the environment by doing it. We hope you will join us and this may be just the right time to get started.

We have linked up with the Environment Officer in Longford County Council who will be available to give instructions on line or on the telephone to anyone starting. Also a leaflet, giving instructions is available, on request from Longford County Council or you can pick one up.

The composting bins are available from the local hardware stores or builder providers stores, in and around Longford and are quite cheap to purchase or you can create your own compost heap. Bins don’t take up much space, which is an added bonus.

So start now, during this “lock down” period and you will be doing your bit for yourself and for the environment and also for Longford Tidy Towns.

Things you can do

A few things you can do even during this Covid-19 lock down period.

* Look around your immediate area to see is there anything you can do to improve its appearance
* Think again before you drop that wrapper, bottle or cigarette butt, as some other person, like you, has to pick it up after you. Put it in the nearest bin or in your pocket
* When you take bottles to the bottle bank, take your carrier bag or box home with you. If there is no space, take your bottles home with you and come again. Otherwise a volunteer has to clean up after you
* Consider planting and displaying a bee-friendly window box or tub. Flowers cheer us up with their beautiful aromas and vibrant colours
*If you can, leave an area of your lawn uncut during the summer to allow clovers and wild flowers to grow for the bees, who are working hard for us
* Allow the dandelions to flower in Spring to feed the hungry bees. They have had a long winter
* If you enjoy an outdoor picnic, leave no trace behind
* Take your plastic gloves home or someone else, maybe a volunteer, will have to pick them up for you
* Never throw rubbish or bottles or baskets into our rivers or streams or the canal. They don’t go away. They are unsightly and volunteers have to try and drag them out and dispose of them properly
* Try to avoid or limit the use of pesticides and weedkillers in order to save our wild birds and bees
* Plant herbs such as lavender, thyme, rosemary, fennel and oregano to help our bee population because our bees help us. Herbs are easy to grow and maintain, smell nice and have therapeutic properties. You can even make your own herbal tea
* Try to have flowers all year round in your garden or flowering trees or shrubs. A list of suitable ones is available from Tidy Towns
* Pick up your dogs excrement. Have his poop bag with you and take it home to dispose of it
* Could the boundary wall or hedge at the front of your house benefit from some care?
* Do not allow your dog to swim in the canal at present as young ducklings and Moorhen chicks are just emerging
* Could your football club or organisation help Longford Tidy Towns by looking after the area outside their playing pitch and the immediate area around it and keeping it litter free
* Aim to Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle........ refuse to bring plastic home
* Start composting this summer and save some money
* Remember these suggestions are for activities in your immediate neighbourhood. For the duration of this pandemic please follow government guidelines at all times and keep safe
* For more information or to join our group, contact John at 086 8346559 or Ann at 086 8962546.