Designing Your Backyard the Eco-friendly Way
Due to the rising awareness of the importance of environmental protection and the growing popularity of green living, eco-friendly backyard and landscaping ideas have become a common thing. It’s all about being environmentally responsible and making the lowest possible impact on our surroundings.
There are now many resourceful and creative ways to save on water, energy and money when designing your sustainable backyard oasis. Here are several ideas to help you get started.
Use Native Plants
One of the smartest, low-maintenance options for your eco-friendly backyard is using native plants. They are already accustomed to surviving in your region, so they need less water and generally have fewer disease and pest problems. They also provide a friendly habitat for local wildlife seeking food and shelter. Once these plants get established, they require very little maintenance as they need no fertilizers, pesticides or additional watering, making them very inexpensive to have and environmentally friendly.
Keep Your Lawn High And Dry
By letting your lawn grow a bit higher, it’ll be much better in tolerating drought in hot summer months. In this way, the lawn retains more moisture, roots grow deeper and the blades thicken, which also means fewer pests and diseases. Moreover, leave the grass clippings on the lawn as they contain a lot of water and help keep the moisture in the lawn.
Increase Hardscapes and Shade
Increasing the square footage of hardscapes in your landscaping will provide you with more outdoor living space, it’ll make it more functional and most of all, it’ll reduce the amount of water needed to water your backyard. It will save thousands of liters of water a year if you replace a portion of your natural lawn with a stone-paved patio or a synthetic turf. Both require very little maintenance and blend in well with the rest of the natural landscaping.
Moreover, by increasing the amount of shade in your backyard, you’ll be able to reduce the overall temperature that will make your stay outdoors more pleasant. For instance, by installing a Best Sheds carport, you’ll have your car nicely tucked away under shade, protected from the elements, plus, you will contribute to the environmental protection since those carports cost less to produce, transport and install. All the material is locally sourced from the Australian manufacturer and with the elimination of the middleman, the entire process is shorter and cheaper.
As droughts are becoming more frequent, being water-savvy has become a must. Harvesting rainwater is one of the most eco-friendly ways to green up your landscaping efforts. It can be used to water all your plants, flowers and the garden, as well as for washing your car. Another plus is that by capturing stormwater runoff, you prevent pollution of the general water supply.
In addition, if you water your backyard early in the morning by 10am or in the late afternoon, you’ll avoid massive evaporation due to cooler air. Also, make sure you water near the base of plants and not overhead and use soaker hoses, as they are more economical in spending water. You can also opt for an automatic irrigation system that will do the same, but more efficiently. It also encourages plants to grow deeper and stronger roots, making them more resilient to droughts.
Composting is an excellent way to reduce the amount of trash we all produce and at the same time, make free, natural fertilizer. To start your own composting pile, all you need is a warm, sunny area and some soil. The most practical way is getting a composting bin in which you’ll throw your household and garden waste, including food scraps, newspapers, cardboards, wood shavings and weeds. This will provide a favourable ground for compost-making bugs, and in the following six to nine months, you’ll have a rich fertilizer to use in your garden.
Following these tips, you’ll turn your backyard into a natural, eco-friendly environment that will require less maintenance, save more money, reduce your carbon footprint and give you a beautiful space to relax and enjoy all year round.
Guest Contributor, Amelia Atkins