Choose native plants
Native species will be better adapted to dryer climates and less susceptible to disease. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center website can help you determine which plants are best for your region and soil quality.
Plant a tree
According to the Arbor Day Foundation, a mature tree can absorb more than 48 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually, and release oxygen in exchange. Plant a tree in your yard and the environment will benefit for years to come.
Use a rain barrel
Conserve H2O by collecting rain from your downspouts in a rain barrel. You can use this supply to sustainably water your plants instead of going straight for the hose.
Clean your pool more efficiently
Make your swimming pool an eco-oasis. Install a solar pool heater and a pool pump timer to help reduce electricity usage, and a sphagnum moss filter to decrease the amount of chlorine needed.
Synthetic fertilizers made from harsh chemicals can be harmful to the environment and the local water supply. Instead, use organic fertilizers made from plant or animal matter, which naturally improve the water capacity of soil and plant health.
Control pests and weeds naturally
Choose plants that are naturally pest-resistant, and encourage helpful insects that prey on pests by planting nectar or pollen flowers and use perennial ground coverings. To prevent weeds from taking root, keep your grass at a higher length.
Start a compost pile
Put your vegetable peelings, fruit waste, grass cuttings and leaves to use by composting them. You can then use that rich compost to give your garden a boost.
Use a healthier hose
Many garden hoses on the market contain high levels of lead and other toxic chemicals that can leach into the water. Consider a hose labeled “drinking water safe” that is lead-free as well as BPA-free, PVC-free and phthalate-free.
The EPA estimates that as much as 50% of the water we use outdoors is lost due to wind, evaporation, and runoff. Reduce this waste by watering in the early morning and adding mulch around gardens and shrubs.