Green living tips are essential as green living is a global phenomenon and something that we can all do to help the environment.
The backyard has traditionally been a home for chemical fertilizers and harmful pesticides, decidedly not green despite being outdoors.
Throw in energy-wasting lights and contaminant-rich materials and our backyards become a hot spot for pollution.
Consumers are demanding available green products for inside of the home and out.
New, eco-friendly brands and designs are quickly becoming easy to find and do.
Follow these 10 simple green living tips for an outdoor living space that’s genuinely green.
1) Harness The Power Of The Sun
Not only is solar-powered lighting more environmentally friendly, but it’s cost-effective as well.
These fixtures collect energy from the sun during daylight hours and use it as illumination at night.
Include solar lighting everywhere – on your deck railing and stairs, under umbrellas, gazebos, and other overhead features, or along a walkway.
There are even solar lights designed to mimic a garden rock, fitting in well with the surroundings.
When security is an issue, choose dependable solar LEDs and motion detector fixtures to save energy.
2) Build An Outdoor Kitchen
With a BBQ, solar oven, backyard fireplace, or fire pit you can do a majority of your cooking on the outside of the patio door.
This keeps the heat out of the kitchen and gives the air conditioner a much-needed rest.
A patio set also provides the perfect place to catch up with the whole family while enjoying your grilled meal.
3) Natural Materials Are Available
For hardscaping features such as patios and decking, choose natural materials.
Natural stone creates a gorgeous patio and sustainably harvested timber can be used to build that dream, green deck.
Skip the harmful paints and wood stains by opting for cedar decking – with natural rot resistance this product will fade to a charming silver color while retaining its strength.
Planting groundcover like thyme between your pavers is a good choice for a low-maintenance patio.
Take a look at bamboo for fencing.
This attractive, renewable resource creates a durable barrier around your yard.
4) Natives Save Water
Landscaping with plants and grasses that are native to your area will help to conserve water.
Naturally hardy, these plants thrive in the native conditions, saving you plenty of time and energy caring for them as well.
They’re also a favorite habitat and playground for the local wildlife.
5) Cut Back The Lawn Permanently
Pull way ahead of the Joneses by transforming your former status symbol, pristine St. Augustine sod lawn to a green, native paradise.
Letting attractive and durable vegetation like clovers and plantain grow on your property will severely cut back on the need for regular pesticide and herbicide use.
Native grasses in your lawn also require less water, allowing you to practice much-needed freshwater conservation in your plot of land.
6) Flowing Water Features For Peacefulness
Using the natural grades and elements of your yard, add a water feature for an instant sense of calm.
Solar-powered fountains are impressive and relaxing and a koi pond provides plenty of natural beauty to gaze at.
Include a rain barrel system in your outdoor designs to help capture valuable freshwater to use for your potted plants and flower beds.
7) Look For Certified Wood
Tree farms and sustainably harvested forests are making plenty of certified wood available for use in our homes.
Red cedar is a popular choice since it has a natural resistance to rot and can be harvested easily using best practices.
On your deck, for your furniture, and in your outdoor décor, choose certified sustainable wood to help protect the planet’s forests and wildlife.
8) Be Committed For The Long Term
When you’re shopping for outdoor furniture and decor, think of the lifespan and usefulness of the product.
Avoid the throwaway mentality and buy quality built pieces to last for generations.
When it’s time for a change in your yard, donate or sell your old items to keep them out of the landfill and allow another family to enjoy them.
9) Stay In Style With The Classics
For larger, more expensive furniture pieces, it’s a wise idea to choose classic styles that won’t become quickly outdated.
Iron gliders and rockers are a good example, as is the ever-popular white porch swing.
Nothing says a lazy summer day like lounging in the porch swing sipping a cold drink.
Throw in bold and trendy accents like pillows, candles, and cushions to keep up with today’s style. Or simply add flashes of color with your annuals and perennials in pots and around the flower bed.
For bright colors choose zinnias, cosmos, and primrose or for more subdued, cool tones look at morning glories, hyssop, and delphiniums.
10) How About The Five “R’s”?
Besides “reduce, reuse and recycle” green living tips can include “repair and redecorate.” Buying furniture and other backyard decor pieces for a full life cycle is important.
Considering how the pieces can be recycled and reused is also essential.
Avoid petroleum-based products when they cannot be recycled, as they also emit toxic off-gases in your yard and pollution during the manufacturing process.
Watch for classic pieces that can be redecorated with new cushions or spruced up with a little repair and cleaning.
You’ll generally save money and be making a greener choice for your home and garden.
By using these green living tips to transform your backyard into a green living space you can truly rest and relax, knowing your family is healthy and the planet is much better off.