Outdoors

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!

FREE ONLINE GUIDES FOR SUSTAINABLE HOME LANDSCAPE DESIGN

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has introduced a series of free online sustainable design guides that highlight cutting-edge ways for residential landscapes to support the environment—no matter the location or property size. The ASLA sustainable...

Sustainable Advantages and Inspirations of Redwood

Redwood lumber is naturally strong and durable, shrinks and swells less than other woods, and is less likely to warp or split. This natural strength, combined with its environmental benefits, makes redwood an ideal choice for any number of landscaping designs.

How Your Roof Affects the Environment: Know Before You Buy

Did you know traditional asphalt shingles are a petroleum product and require replacement every 15-20 years (or sooner), resulting in about 20 billion pounds of asphalt shingles ending up in U.S. landfills every year? According to industry data, roughly 7 million U.S. homeowners replace their roof each year and many are looking for new ‘green’, energy-saving options. Here’s what you should know about metal.

The Benefits of a Clover Lawn Eco-Friendly Lawn Alternative

Before the 1950′s, clover was considered an essential and desired part of lawns. Then 2,4D broadleaf killer came on the market and smart marketing by the chemical companies influenced homeowners that anything but grass in their lawn was a weed. Clover’s benefits include high drought tolerance and nitrogen fixation – which make for an attractive and low maintenance “green” green lawn – no chemicals or fertilizer needed. Traditional manicured lawns use tons of water, broad leaf weed killers, and fertilizer. Adding clover to your lawn can end the need for this waste.

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