Top tips for making your home greener and wilder More and more of us are moving into urban areas and a whopping 60% of the world’s population is expected to live in cities by 2050. We’re seeing a similar trend here in the UK with London’s population expected to increase from 8.7 million to 11 million by 2050. This puts a lot of pressure on green spaces in cities, which make us feel good, support wildlife and help mitigate the effects of climate change. The good news is that we can all be part of making the places we live greener and wilder, whatever space or experience we have. Get ready to #GiveItAGrow with our top tips for making your home greener and wilder. 1) Get growing, your way Start by doing some research to find the right plant for your space: plants are as individual as people so make sure you choose one that has a good chance at surviving. If growing indoors, “cut and grow” lettuce, microleaves or fast-growing herbs like thyme or parsley is a great place to start. These can be grown indoors, year-round. If you have a garden, windowsill or balcony, go for nectar-rich plants filled with yummy food for pollinators, friendly insects that help plants reproduce by moving pollen from one plant to another. You’ll be rewarded with beautiful blooms which will attract birds to your garden too – win win! If you’re not quite ready for growing your own, then filling your home with houseplants is a great alternative. Here’s a great guide to finding the right match for your patch. 2) Keep your plants alive So, your plant is rooted and seems to be doing alright (nice job!), the trick now is to keep it alive. The secret is to listen to your plant (that’s right): plants communicate through their leaves so keep a close eye and your plant will tell you whether it’s getting too little light, too much water, or if it needs more fresh air. Not fluent in plant-speak? Here’s a quick guide to what your plant is telling you. 3) Make your own plant pot Plant pots and containers can be pricey and are often made from plastic. Why not make your own from things you have at home to reduce waste and save money? You can turn pretty much any can, tin, pot, container or carton into a perfect home for your plants. Simply, wash and drain well, add drainage holes, and decorate with paint, ribbons, buttons and more. Top tip: read your seed pack or plant label carefully to make sure you choose a container that’s the right size for your leafy friend. Click here for step-by-step inspiration. 4) Keep your garden green More and more of us are choosing to pave over our gardens or replace natural grass with plastic grass (known as astroturf), which a major cause of microplastic pollution. Natural grass not only looks, smells and feels lovely, it’s also great for soaking up heat and water, helping reduce flash flooding and cool our city, so keeping the green stuff around is key for a happy, healthy city. Gardening doesn’t have to mean a lot of time or effort. Dig into our top tips for low-maintenance gardening. 5) Make peat-free your soil-mate Taking peat from its natural environment destroys habitats and releases carbon into the atmosphere so make sure you choose peat-free soil. 6) Give wildlife a helping hand Food and shelter can be hard to come by, especially in autumn and winter. Give birds and friendly insects a helping hand by building a bird box or bug hotel from things you have at home. Want to dig deeper? Visit www.giveitagrow.info to find more simple tips on growing and gardening. Or join the conversation and show how you #GiveItAGrow on Twitter and Instagram.