Adopting environmentally friendly practices in all aspects of our lives is becoming more and more popular as we become more aware of the harm we humans are doing to the planet. We look at ways to adopt more sustainable energy practices and use more sustainable materials in situations ranging from the way we build and heat our homes to our everyday habits such as recycling.
It stands to reason that if we’re being conscious of what happens inside our homes, we should also consider what’s happening outside of our homes. Since our yards and gardens are outdoors we tend to think of them as being natural and therefore already environmentally friendly.
However, the way that we approach landscape design isn’t always as sustainable as we might think.
Just keeping your grass green uses a lot of water and often pesticides and other materials we put on plants and in soil can be harmful. We offer landscaping ideas here for making your garden an eco-friendly paradise.
Water waste is the biggest environmental concern associated with landscaping design.
Watering plants and grass, especially in a dry, hot or drought prone climate, can be particularly wasteful. Besides being wasteful, excessive watering will drive up your water bill!
Obviously you can’t do anything about the fact that plants do need water.
What you can do is make a few simple choices that will help you conserve water. Water your plants early in the morning or at night after the sun’s gone down to give your plants the best chance of absorbing the water before its evaporated by the sun.
This will allow you to use less water.
When planning your landscape design you can also add features to create a rain garden that will collect and make use of rainwater or a system that reuses greywater from your showers and sinks.
Recycling is the most obvious eco-friendly practice to keep in mind, and can be applied in your garden in a couple of ways. You can compost waste from your kitchen and garden to use as organic fertilizer. Another idea to consider would be to recycle plastic containers as pots when planting seedlings. Recycled materials can also be used as unique planters, decorations or in materials for outdoor furniture.
Companion planting is an easy way to garden as it mostly lets the plants do the work for you.
Companion planting has numerous benefits in the right combinations. Certain combinations, such as chives and tomatoes, act as a natural pesticide to deter bugs.
Grouping plants together based on how much water they require is a good way to reduce water waste so that you don’t use anymore than you absolutely need. You can also group taller plants with shorter plants that require more shade.
Reducing energy use outdoors is just as important as reducing energy use indoors.
When designing your outdoor space, try to use low voltage LED lights. You will still have a range of lighting options to choose from, and the environment and your energy bill will thank you. You could also consider using solar powered outdoor lights. They can charge up all day and then go to work all night!
Using native plants in your yard is the easiest way to be environmentally friendly and have a low maintenance garden. Native plants are those that are native to the environment you’re in. This means that they will grow naturally without needing much attention from you since they’re used to the natural rainfall and climate.
Planting natives has a number of benefits including attracting helpful bugs and beautiful birds. They also help you conserve precious water.
(Eco) Friendly furniture.
The outdoors are meant to be enjoyed, and if you’re putting effort into your landscaping design it will probably include some area where you can sit and enjoy your little slice of paradise. When choosing outdoor furniture, try to look for items made out of sustainable timber or recycled wood.
If you love your outdoor oasis, then you care about the environment enough to want to do what you can to preserve it. Adopting some eco-friendly practices into your landscaping design is sure to keep both you and the earth happy!