6 Changes to Make Your Yard More Sustainable
Date Posted:9 November 2015
You work hard to keep your grasses, flower beds and trees green. But how 'green' is your current landscape?
Many residential yards consume a lot of energy and water to look lush. But your garden and deck can stay comfortable, stylish and usable without leaving you with an enormous carbon footprint.
In this blog, we introduce you to six simple changes you can make to decrease the impact that your home has on your power bill, water usage and local ecosystem.
1. Choose to Compost
The plants on your yard need specific nutrients to grow properly. Did you know that you can supply some of these nutrients in a safe, natural way by using compost as fertilizer?
Your compost can include all organic scraps, from grass clippings to potato peelings, and compost also decreases the amount of waste from your home that ends up in a landfill.
2. Get in the Zone
You don't have to eliminate watering to make your landscaping practices more eco-friendly. Instead, group plants that need similar care together. Put plants with similar water need close together, but you may also want to consider light and soil needs.
When you zone your yard this way, you spend less time watering, and more of the water you use actually benefits your plants. You may also decide to install a low-flow irrigation system to ensure you never use more water than needed in these zones.
3. Make Use of Mulch
Mulch is another great way to optimise your watering practices. Mulch gives water more time to sink into the ground (where your plants can actually use it) before the moisture evaporates.
Using mulch also decreases the need for weed killer, a product which often contains chemicals that contaminate groundwater and endanger local wildlife.
4. Plant Native
When you choose new plants, stick to hardy options which are native to Victoria. These plants withstand our weather conditions better, so you have to use less soil additives, water and pesticides.
Planting native flowers, shrubs and trees also encourages important insect life, like butterflies and honeybees, to frequent your yard.
5. Switch to Solar
Garden and backyard lighting can beautify the space and make it useable for longer hours. But many harsh, outdoor lights require a lot of power and contribute to local light pollution. Instead of relying on traditional lighting, switch to solar LED bulbs.
Solar lights come in many varieties, from decorative fixtures to motion sensor security lights. Even better, solar lights require no wiring and get their glow from the sun instead of your home's electrical system.
6. Use Rainwater
To make your backyard use less water from municipal sources, set up a rainwater collection system during the wet season. Your system can consist simply of a barrel under your home's downspout, or you can work with a contractor to create a complex collection system that automatically strains out debris.
In addition to affecting your water usage, rainwater collection can decrease the stormwater runoff on your property. This water collection protects local flora and fauna (not to mention your landscaping elements) from erosion and flooding.
Not sure exactly which of these changes to implement (or how to implement them)? Work with professionals with a history of sustainability. You may want to consult with a lighting contractor, landscaper or electrician to ensure that you install each new feature correctly. Partnering with a professional ensures that your changes truly do make your yard more functional and more sustainable.
Make these changes today to create an oasis that provides you and your family with relaxation, without straining your resources. For more ideas on how small lighting changes can impact your everyday life, read our other blog posts.