Follow these tips to reduce your ecological footprint in the backyard or patio
Following these tips can help reduce your ecological footprint in your backyard or on your patio:
If at all possible always avoid using cleaning chemicals; natural cleaning choices include lemon juice, vinegar, ammonia or baking soda. Try combining any of the above elements with water for an effective, safe and natural cleaner.
Are you thinking about replacing those discolored pavers in your patio? Maybe you plan on improving your outdoor area by adding a new deck or patio pavers? Consider rehabbing that grimy patio or discolored deck with a hot-water power washer. Power washers are easy to rent; you can find them in local hardware stores. Renting a power washer will save you money by avoiding the need to purchase a new deck. Plus, you will decrease your ecological footprint by reducing the amount of materials used.
Add a mulch pile to the corner of your backyard. It creates a space to recycle organic waste into usable and nutrient-rich mulch for your garden plants, instead of adding more waste to your city’s trash dump.
Adding moss in certain areas can create a sense of age and add character. Try placing moss between patio pavers or on walls. Your local nursery probably carries several versions of moss; if not it’s most likely growing on your property right now. Just locate, remove a patch of moss and carefully place it in the area you wish for it to grow.
Keep in mind the animals and insects in your backyard. Not only should you add flowers high in nectar such as honeysuckle, but consider a beehive, bat house or bird house. The additional insects attracted by these ideas (and others such as bird baths) will attract wildlife, making your outdoor space more entertaining and environmentally friendly.
If you are building a wooden deck, pergola or arbor, use FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified wood. FSC certified wood has been harvested from sustainable forests (mentioned above). And when it comes time to stain your new structure avoid oil-based stains. Try using water-based stains to cut down on the amount of hazardous volatile organic compounds in your backyard’s air. And most oil-based stains rely on paraffin, a type of wax, as a base. If you’ve seen what happens to burning candles, then imagine your deck with a waxy coat under the summer sun.
Are you considering patio furniture options? Be sure to look at renewable resources such as wicker, hyacinth and bamboo. Rely on resources taken from sustainable forests that are naturally and easily replaced. Are you finding yourself unsatisfied with organic materials? If you choose a synthetic material or metal such as aluminum be sure it’s strong and durable to outdoor weather so it’s years or even decades before they need to be replaced.
Reuse, reuse and reuse… but be creative! Utilize local second-hand stores, yard sales and garage sales to your advantage. Not only can you find rustic trinkets and vintage accessories, but you can also save money!
Be smart how you heat your outdoor area. Try a fire pit or fireplace rather than an electrical patio heater. Or just try a few extra layers of clothing to improve your wintertime experience.
Think about solar-powered garden and accent lights, rather than traditional light sources.
Use planters with herbs and fragrant flowers for added color and wonderful scents. Not only will they add to your outdoor area, but you can use them for cooking in the kitchen!
Employ an old bucket to collect rain water for watering plants and pull weeds the old-fashioned way rather than using chemicals.
Going green can be easy, while also saving you time and money. Not only do you and your family benefit from the reduction in damaging chemicals, but the small creatures and plants that surround your home benefit as well. So use these green tips to reduce the ecological footprint of your outdoor space. Mother Nature will thank you!
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