Sustainable Landscaping 101
In today’s day and age, the impact of not caring for our environment is pretty clear. As a society we understand that we should be doing everything possible to maintain the health of our planet if we want to enjoy its natural resources in the future. When it comes to landscaping our homes, it’s important to consider the most sustainable practices so that we can protect and conserve the Earth's precious materials.
The following sustainable landscaping methods will enable you to create a beautiful yard around your home while at the same time doing your part to take care of Mother Earth.
Pavers are cement or concrete slabs that are installed to create patio areas and walkways. They are a beautiful addition to any landscaping project. When determining which type of product you want for your yard, be sure to consider using porous pavers which can filter rainwater, reduce erosion of the soil, and decrease the ambient temperature in the region.
When deciding on plants for your landscaping projects, consider garden flora that is native to your area. For instance, while tropical plants are gorgeous, they require a lot of time and effort to keep them looking that way, particularly if you do not live in a tropical region. When cared for properly, native plants flourish in their own regions, saving you time, effort, and money. Native plants are easy to maintain, will need less water, and protect the soil and ground water.
Gray Water Systems
Much like hand-me-down clothing that has been passed from one person to another, gray water has also been gently used for a variety of cleaning purposes. This once-used water may look somewhat dirty as it typically contains tiny particles of dirt, residue, and cleaning compounds. However, it is safe for use in your landscaping projects and can be helpful to your yard. Not only does the use of gray water assist in saving water and the costs of utility bills, but it also reduces the amount of pollutants that can negatively affect local waterways.
The simplest way to utilize gray water in your landscaping projects is to send it straight outside where it can be used to irrigate plants and trees. If you decide to set up a gray water system, it’s important to use only plant-safe washing products in your home so as to prevent any chemicals from destroying the plants and trees in your yard.
Traditional lawns require a great deal of water to keep their lush appearance. They also need to be cut regularly, but the use of gas-powered lawn mowers releases hydrocarbons into the air, increasing the amount of air pollution affecting our environment. You can make your lawns more eco-friendly in following ways:
- Reduce the amount of grass in your yard.
- Cut your lawn with a push mower rather than a gas-powered one.
- Allow your grass to grow a little taller than normal so you don't have to mow as much.
- Leave your grass clipping on your lawn to decompose.
- Use fertilizers made from organic materials.
Green roofs provide an environment for growing vegetation on the top of a home or other building. This roofing option can take up only a portion of the rooftop or the entire region. A waterproof membrane is installed and then vegetation is planted within it. This sustainable option can increase the energy efficiency of your home, as the green roof absorbs the heat of the summer months and insulates the interior space from the cold temperatures of winter. While this type of roof can be rather costly to install, the return on your investment through savings in energy costs and roof replacement makes up for the initial financial outlay.