Your backyard is full of green, but would you consider it an environmentally friendly one? Close out the summer and brighten up the planet by making your backyard even more green.
Bringing green ideas to your favorite outdoor space can rejuvenate your spirit and set an example to family and friends that eco-possibilities are all around.
See how you can bring some eco-change to your backyard with these how-to-green-it-up tips.
Green your garden
- Use natural compost instead of chemical fertilizers.
- Start composting on your own to provide nutrients and moisture for your soil (and to cut down on kitchen waste!).
- Purchase benches or tables that have been certified sustainable.
- Use solar lanterns to light the way.
- Choose planters and pots made from recycled materials.
- Eat what you sow. You won’t get more organic than growing your own fruits and veggies.
Green your yard
- Use native plants since they’ll require less watering.
- Plant flowers rich in pollen and nectar to attract bees and butterflies. We need ‘em! Do your part by learning all about pollinators.
- Reduce the size of your lawn using ground cover (clover would be great because of the added bonus of attracting bees!). You’ll water less and avoid toxic pesticides and fertilizers.
- Try organic mulch like wood chips, bark, leaves and pine needles. Mulched sections of a yard versus grass require significantly less water (see previous tip).
- Leave grass higher when you mow, and mow more frequently to retain water. Leave grass clippings where they are (healthy nutrient) or toss them in your compost pile.
Green your watering
- Water in the morning—4 to 10 a.m. is the best time to do it.
- Upgrade to an in-ground sprinkler system. It’s efficient for watering grass.
- Choose sprinklers that fit your lawn size and shape (if you don’t have an in-ground system); pulsating sprinklers are best for established grass, while oscillating sprinklers are better for new lawns.
- Get a timer (for homes without an in-ground sprinkling system).
- Collect rainwater for watering your potted plants and garden.
Green your pool
- Use a pool cover to save water and energy. It keeps it cleaner, warmer and reduces pumping time.
- Upgrade your pump to one that’s programmable with variable-speed capabilities. This will help save on energy costs.
- Change out your pool lighting to LED bulbs.
- If heating your pool is a must, opt for a solar heater versus gas or propane models.
- Select equipment that’s ENERGY STAR certified.