Who doesn’t want their yard to be a welcoming oasis? Still, for the majority of homeowners in the U.S., that means manicured grounds of the greenest grass. In our efforts to get that perfectly pruned look, homeowners in the U.S. are having a significant negative impact on the environment. Consider this: 30 to 60 percent of urban fresh water is used on lawns and as much as 50 percent of it is wasted due to inefficient irrigation methods. Homeowners use 10 times the amount of pesticides and fertilizers per acre on their lawns as farmers do on crops. Again, the majority is wasted due to inappropriate timing and application. Plus, the runoff of these chemicals becomes a major source of water pollution. One final startling fact? Each year more than 17 million gallons of fuel are spilled during the refilling of lawn and garden equipment—more than the oil that the Exxon Valdez spilled in the Gulf of Alaska.
Make your outdoor oasis more eco-friendly by considering more sustainable ground covering (like xeriscaping), weighing the possibilities of things like rainwater catchment systems and rainwater gardens, and using water-efficient irrigation techniques. Top it all off with a patio made from permeable pavers and a deck built from reclaimed wood. Maybe consider a natural swimming pond as part of your eco friendly landscaping, too!