The landscaping around your home is constructed to fit you and your family’s needs, but often times the needs of surrounding wildlife is placed second tier, if not dismissed completely. Many landscape designers are making small changes in an effort to make landscaping more environmentally friendly overall. By incorporating a few of these changes and practices into your landscaping, you will not only work to preserve the environment but you will also reduce the amount of energy that you use resulting in lower utility bills.
Practice Water Conservation
Consider a water barrel to help cut down some of your water use. By conserving water that is naturally available to you, you will be able to irrigate and water your lawn without having a negative impact on the environment. As a bonus, rain water is naturally free of chemicals and is a softer water than what you otherwise might use.
Cut back on turf grass
Turf grass uses large amounts of water which can be detrimental in areas that are prone to drought. Reduce the amount of space you have allocated for turf grass by planting wild grasses or installing a deck or patio for you to enjoy.
If you have the space, don’t be afraid to let one area go completely natural. Create a mini natural habit for wildlife in your area. Even if it’s just a small area, it can help to compensate for the loss of natural habitats due to increasing construction and land development.
Ditch Chemical Cocktails
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the residential application of pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides is nearly 20 times that of what many farmers use per acre. This sort of excessive use obviously has unintended effects on the environment. There are plenty of organic alternative to pesticides and synthetic fertilizers that work just as well and are often more cost effective.
Planting a tree is not only great for the environment but they can also have a positive effect on the amount of power you use inside the home. Deciduous trees will help shade your house and keep it cool in the summer while evergreens with help to block wind chill during the winter.
Avoid invasive exotics
Rely on plants that are native to your area to make up the majority, if not all, of your foliage based landscaping. Exotic species, especially those that are considered invasive, will tend to outcompete with native plants and result in a decline of biodiversity. Native plants are also better fit to survive in your region and will be able to flourish with less human interference.
Work With Your Arms
Cut back on the power it takes to maintain your landscaping. Consider using a push mower to cut your grass and rake up your leaves in the fall instead of using a leaf-blower. It’s great for the environment as well as for you.