How to Give Your Yard an Eco-Friendly Makeover

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Lately, since eco-friendliness has infiltrated every aspect of our lives—interior design, in particular—it is important to remember that “green” starts outside, and that first we have to pay attention to our yards. Keeping your backyard green is not only about the bright colors or the lush lawn, but also about the way we take care of it, our choice of plants, and other things we use to enhance the appearance of our outdoor space. If you are ready to take on a more eco-conscious approach to landscaping, these tips should help you out.

Photo via Unsplash

Choose Ground Cover Over Grass

Grassed lawns require frequent mowing, watering and often even using herbicides or pesticides. Ground covers, on the other hand, embrace the ground, join with it, and are low-maintenance. If your lawn is completely exposed to sun, consider going with clover because it stays green even during long droughts and it feels soft and cushiony under the feet. As for the shady areas of your yard, you can use moss because it grows well and stays fresh even when not exposed to sun.

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Plant Native Plants

We would all like to have some nice, exotic plants in our backyards. But unless you are living in a climate that supports such plants, you will have to use a lot of pesticides and herbicides to help them grow. Native plants are not so demanding in terms of maintenance because they are accustomed to the local climate. Plus, they can be very beneficial for the environment because they attract butterflies and birds.

Use Organic Mulch

Organic mulch, such as leaves, pine, bark, and wood chips, can retain moisture and regulate the soil temperature, which contributes to plants’ growth and health. It also adds nutrients to the soil and reduces the footprint of the lawn. If you have a grass lawn, this is also useful because it can cut down water usage for up to 50 percent, reducing the need for maintenance.

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Find Appropriate Furniture

If you want to make your yard truly green, opt for quality garden furniture because poor-quality furniture pieces have a much shorter lifespan, which means you’ll have to replace them often. Wood and aluminum are great choices, but they are not very weather-resistant. Consider using high-performance synthetic wicker and coated aluminum which are rust- and UV-resistant. These pieces also look great, so you won’t have to compromise on stylishness. Furniture made of recycled materials or repurposed furniture is also eco-friendly, you just need to make sure it is outdoor-friendly.

Energy-Efficient Lighting

Night lights are a great choice for yards, especially if you like to spend your evenings outdoors. However, they use up a lot of electricity which doesn’t make them very green. Because of that, you should choose solar-powered lights. These lights come in a number of styles and they don’t require extension cords and wires.

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A Deck That Lasts for Ages

No one likes to look at a worn-out deck, which is why homeowners often decide to replace it with a new one. However, new decking requires more trees to be cut down, which is not in accordance with the green approach we are aspiring to. Because of that, you should choose a decking material that ages well, such as clear redwood. Poured concrete is another great solution if you want an eco-friendly, durable deck.

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Rationalize the Water Use

Watering the plants accounts for a large part of the household’s total water consumption. Here are a few tips that will help you reduce your water use:

• Group the plants based on their watering requirements.
• Use sprinklers with a controller that changes the watering schedule based on the weather.
• Set up a rainwater harvesting system and use that water for watering plants.

There is no green like natural green. Use these tips to turn your yard into an eco-friendly oasis you will actually enjoy spending time in.

Mother Earth Living
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