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From leaving the lights on after leaving the room to bringing groceries home in layers of plastic, there are many ways everyday activities unintentionally wreak havoc on the environment. Something as ubiquitous as lawn care, for example, often requires an excessive amount of water and a plethora of harmful chemicals, both of which can throw delicate ecosystems out of balance. However, those hoping to care for the environment and manage a pristine backyard need not despair. Small steps like learning how to compost and maximize rainwater can quickly transform your average backyard into an environmentally conscious oasis.
Opting for native grasses is a surefire way homeowners can introduce an environmentally friendly change into standard lawn care practices. Native grasses have the ability to survive on finite resources, meaning these grass varieties often require less water and fertilizer than plants not found locally.
Additionally, native grasses can help homeowners establish a valuable habitat for local insects unable to thrive in grasses transplanted into the area from other ecosystems. Companies like Nature’s Seed offer native grass seed products tailored to homeowners hoping to reduce their water usage and seed lawns that fulfill existing wildlife’s unique needs.
Composting has even more benefits outside of offering an eco-friendly method for repurposing organic kitchen waste. By eliminating certain kinds of food waste, composting can help environmental activists ensure their diets are more sustainable.
Not to mention, compost can serve as a replacement for chemical fertilizer and contribute to moisture-retentive soil. Compost heaps can even become tiny ecosystems of their own, attracting various animals such as earthworms, hedgehogs, and lizards.
Similarly, solar-powered water features like modern water fountains can add life to a backyard without relying on less regenerative electricity forms. Because solar-powered lights can store energy during the day and light up a patio for nighttime entertainment, there’s no need to flip on the back porch light. Instead, you can entertain and wow your house guests with environmental conservation in mind. Similarly, solar-powered water features can add life to a backyard without relying on less regenerative electricity forms.
Like composting, collecting rainwater is an easy route to a more eco-friendly backyard. Water can be diverted from a roof drainpipe into a rain barrel and saved to water plants or vegetable gardens. Bioswales, linear ditches is designed to redirect water to where it’s needed most. The ditches can also be used to funnel rainwater into specific areas of a yard or garden.
Avid environmentalists might cringe at the idea of owning a swimming pool. This popular backyard addition often requires high water use and harmful chemicals to maintain. However, there are several ways to make a backyard swimming pool more environmentally friendly.
Switch to an energy-efficient pool pump (perhaps one certified by Energy Star) or run a pool pump for fewer hours. This will help lessen the pool’s negative environmental impact. Additionally, installing a solar cover can help warm a pool with solar energy and prevent water from evaporating.
For homeowners looking to salvage the delicate ecosystems in harm’s way, easy fixes are, quite literally, in your backyard. Every homeowner can find a way to make their yard a little greener – extra sprinkler time not required. Simply plant native grasses, collect rainwater, and engage in responsible pool maintenance.
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