It makes so much sense to try lessening your carbon footprint. It’s good for the planet and good for your pocket too. Also, in the end it’s just the right thing to do.
One of the best places to start is in your own home and one of the best areas to start is in your landscaping. Why? Because of how much resource wasting can take place there.
The following are 10 clever and common sense landscaping ideas for a greener home.
1. An Outdoor BBQ Area
An outdoor kitchen and barbecue area gets you, your family, and guests cooking and eating outside of your home. It’s a fun way to eat and entertain at the same time you also lessen your carbon footprint by not having to heat your home on warm evenings. A solar powered fan can be easily found online and works great for creating a cool breeze in your barbecue area to keep your guests cool too. It’s just one option from all that’s available now to help you create a great outdoor kitchen/dining area.
2. Low Water Plants
Incorporating plants that consume less water into your landscaping scheme benefits you in 2 ways. First of all, as far as a greener home is concerned, less water used in your landscaping means less water that has to be pumped from the ground or from rivers. Then because they are low-water plants, they also require less maintenance which is another plus in my book. It just takes a little research and a little shopping around because your local nursery may not have a large selection of them.
3. A Drip Irrigation System
There’s just so many good reasons to switch to a modern drip irrigation system in your landscaping, and the best of those reasons is to make your home a bit more green. Drip irrigation systems use less water because they eliminate runoff and place the water right at the plants base where it’s needed. A modern drip irrigation system also produces healthier plants because the water goes deeper. Since it’s dripped, it doesn’t force out oxygen or wash away precious nutrients.
4. Try Out Fake Plants
When most people are drawing up their landscaping plans, fake plants are generally the last thing that comes to mind. People often want live plants growing in their yard and flower gardens. What they may not know though is that today’s fake plants are more realistic looking than ever before so no one will tell the difference. They also bloom with flowers 365 days a year, and best of all they’re ‘no maintenance’ and require not a single drop of water.
5. Use Landscape Rocks
Incorporating rocks into your landscaping is just one more of the many great ideas for a greener home that are out there. Here again, they also come with the benefit that they require zero maintenance. What catches many homeowners off guard however, is how expensive larger landscape boulders in particular can be. So then why not take a drive out into the country where you live to scout around for landscaping rocks that cost you nothing to buy?
6. Large Trees and Bushes Cool Your Home
If your home is directly exposed to the daytime sun during hot summer months, then why not consider planting some large trees that can help to cool your home when they finally grow large enough. Now is the time to get started though, because they do take time to grow. Fast-growing varieties are of course the best choice, but also make sure that you choose trees that shed their leaves in the wintertime to let sunlight through to heat your home in the winter.
7. Don’t Overfertilize Your Plants
Most people, and you may be one of them simply don’t make the connection between using less fertilizer and ideas for a greener home. What they should know though, is that it takes energy to produce fertilizers and some of them are even made from petroleum products. Besides plants don’t like being over fertilized because too much of it will burn their roots, which in turn leads to stunted growth. Cut your fertilizer use to save your plans and to help save the environment.
8. Solar Powered Water Features
Outdoor and indoor water features have always been popular because they lend a natural element that can be both ‘seen and heard’. Two of the downsides though, are that they tend to be expensive to buy and install, and that larger moving water features in particular can run up a power bill. So now is the time to take a good look at what’s available in today’s off-the-shelf, ready to go solar power water features that are powered by the sun’s renewable energy.
9. Water in the Evening
If you’re relying on a sprinkler system to water then another one of many great landscaping ideas for a greener home is to wait until late afternoon or evening after dark to water. When you do it in midday a lot of it is evaporated off, and it takes energy to pump and move water through your communities system, so the less you use, the lower your carbon footprint will be. Your plants will also thank you because when you water in the evening it has a chance to sink deeper down into the roots.
10. Condition Your Soil
Then improving your soil by working quality soil conditioners like redwood mulch and peat moss in is another way to help cut your carbon footprint. Well conditioned soil holds water better which in turn helps to eliminate runoff. Plants also grow better and the bigger they grow the better they can shade your home to help cut energy costs. Then another big plus of conditioned soil is that your yard just look better as your plants produce more flowers.
11. Solar Powered Lighting
One of the more recent trends in landscaping design to catch wind is creative lighting. Perhaps you’ve already seen string lights wrapped around the trunks of trees, and for sure during the holiday season the colored lighting in landscaping schemes is always been very popular. So now is the time to check out solar powered lighting systems, and in particular LED lights. Solar powered LED lighting kits are low-voltage, so they eliminate the need to run standard household power, and because they’re LED there are no light bulbs to burnout.
Written by Rachel Sheldon. She is a very passionate writer and has a great concern on the environment. She also participates at protests that relates to the environment.