Switching to paper straws, recycling cans and bottles, eating less meat—there are a lot of things we can do in our everyday lives to help protect and preserve the natural world around us. People are embracing more and more these little eco-friendly lifestyle changes that can have a positive impact on the environment. When you’re a homeowner, there are even bigger steps you can take toward sustainable living. A lot of these steps begin with your very own slice of Mother Nature, i.e. your landscape!
Making your property better for the environment doesn’t have to be a complicated or costly process. Use a few of these ideas below to design and maintain a landscape that gives back to the earth and becomes more beautiful and efficient in the process!
1) Plant native species.
Choosing plants, shrubs, and trees that are native to your area will help attract local wildlife to your landscape. Not only will this help your garden and other vegetation thrive, but it will also provide a food and habitat source for the local ecosystem.
Native plants will also be lower-maintenance, as they’re already well-adapted to local soil, light conditions, rainfall levels, and overall climate. This means you won’t have to use as many supplemental resources, such as fertilizer or extra water, to keep your landscape healthy.
2) Try composting.
Making your own compost has the double advantage of reducing waste and giving you free organic fertilizer and/or mulch to use on your landscape. Compost is beneficial for your landscape, offering natural nutrients to promote robust growth, and eliminates waste that would otherwise end up somewhere else in the environment.
Another reason to try composting is that it’s easy to do! Simply set aside a sunny area of soil in your yard, pile up your household and garden waste, and let the bugs do their job. Check out this helpful guide to making your own compost for more info.
3) Take advantage of rainwater.
Harvesting rainwater is a great way to make efficient use of a valuable resource. Using rainwater over tap whenever possible for watering plants, trees, and other landscaping reduces household water waste. It also helps prevent runoff, which often contains harmful pollutants from landscape chemicals and yard waste, from seeping into land or natural water sources.
Collecting rainwater can be as easy as putting out a barrel during a storm or as intricate as setting up a cistern to supply your entire household. Alternatively, you could build stone mortar walls strategically on your property to help direct runoff to your plants for irrigation.
4) Use energy efficient lighting.
Landscaping lighting is an important feature to make your property safe and functional. Fortunately, there are many greener options these days that help conserve energy and make your lighting system more eco-friendly. A few examples include using LED light bulbs, motion-sensor lighting, access control systems, and solar-powered lighting.
5) Choose eco-friendly alternatives for outdoor living materials.
When it comes to helping the environment, making a lot of small green changes or decisions can have a bigger impact than you might think. For instance, there are plenty of opportunities as you’re creating and using your outdoor living area to make your features more sustainable, such as:
- Using a natural gas grill or natural lump charcoal for your charcoal grill
- Choosing a natural gas over woodburning firepit
- Buying sustainable outdoor furniture (second-hand, recyclable materials, organic vs. synthetic fibers)
- Selecting low-maintenance materials for patios and walkways (concrete, stone, brick pavers) to cut down on use of chemical products and water for cleaning
6) Install water features.
Water features will transform your landscape into a relaxing outdoor oasis—but you’re not the only one who can enjoy them. Local wildlife can benefit from landscape water features like waterfalls, fountains, bird baths, and ponds. They offer a clean water source for animals and insects to drink and bathe, which helps keep the local ecosystem thriving. Just be sure to set them up with eco-friendly measures to reduce waste, such as motion sensing or solar power.
The best way to make sure your landscape is as eco-friendly as possible is to work with an expert for design and installation. VistaPro Landscape & Design can help you plan a landscape that gives back to the environment and still gives you the yard of your dreams! We’ll work with you step-by-step to design, install, and maintain an outdoor space you can enjoy and feel good about.
Contact our team today to get started on your green outdoor oasis!