Every day we try to make our world a little bit greener. On a smaller personal level, it is all about shaping our habits and making our surrounding more eco-friendly. Of course, this also includes designs of our gardens and best materials to use. Planting local plants influences local flora and fauna and by designing a deck from upcycled timber we prolong its use and lower pollution. One garden may not save the world but it can set an example, so why not start from your own?
Here are some pointers on how to make your garden greener and more enjoyable for your family.
Make your garden green with life
To keep your yard naturally cool, there is nothing better than planting your own garden. Depending on your lifestyle and personal preference, you can opt for a lovely flower garden. To minimize the negative impact on the environment such as water usage and pest control, it is best to go local. Research which plants grow locally as they will be most accustomed to the environment and require little to no additional care.
If you are ready for a small challenge, you can even set up your very own fruit and/or veggie garden. Sure, you won’t be able to grow all of your food, but nothing can beat going to your garden for salad supplies. There is a special sense of achievement in growing your own food, but, moreover, you know how you grew it and where it’s been.
Sustainability is the motto of the century and where do we waste more precious resources than on rubbish which we throw out. Disposing and separating rubbish is being constantly updated and you can do your bit by also putting up some compost bins. Bins themselves take up little space and little care. Find a place in your garden which you can use for the bin throughout the year and buy a made compost bin or repurpose an old rubbish bin. You can also make your own bin for discarded materials.
You can compost all of the things you would normally just throw away, like tea bags and coffee grounds, eggshells, fruit and veggie leftovers and etc. However, not everything should find their way to the bin. Stay away from dairy products, meat, fish, and lard, as well as fruits and veggies treated with pesticides. In this way, some of your rubbish will have a new life as a source of substance for your garden.
Now that you have organized your garden, it is time to consider your patio. Firstly you should consider where you want to put it up if you don’t already have one. Depending on what you intend to use it for primarily, sitting around and having lunches or sunbathing, you should find the spot which has the optimal access to the sun. Of course, to create shadow only when needed you can install some outdoor awnings. It can even protect you from those sudden summer showers, too.
If you are only now considering putting up a patio, opt for sustainable materials. Wood is the first choice, but make sure what kind of wood you choose. For example, if you choose natural, chemically untreated wood, you also get a patio with a shorter lifespan, but it will still be easy to recycle and dispose of. Also, not all natural wood is an environment-friendly option, as some wood can be harvested more often than others. Using recycled wood is a great option as long as the wood in question is meant to stand its new purpose.
Treated wood is not as eco-friendly as it is treated with chemicals, but its lifespan is longer. There are also newer combinations of wood and plastic, and though they sound green enough, they’re also problematic when it comes to disposal, just like treated wood.
Also, you will need your recycled garden furniture to enjoy the view.
Your garden and patio are ready and all that is needed is light so that your garden use can go on far into the night. Just like you have probably already replaced your incandescent light bulbs indoors, it is time to use solar lighting outdoors. During the day, they will soak up the sun and store the energy in their tiny batteries and in the evening they will start to illuminate.
Designs can differ, you can opt for path lights and step lighting, but they also come in form of highly entertaining string lights.
A lush green garden can only be preceded by an almost completely self-sustainable garden composed of local plant life. Using the clippings, leaves, and twigs from your yard but also some of your household leftovers you can create compost which will be a nutritious supplement for your growing garden. A patio made from consciously harvested or upcycled timber is as green an option as it gets. Lighting the whole place up with solar lights makes it both energy and cost-effective as well as easier to enjoy.
Audrey Taylor was born in San Francisco, and moved to Adelaide at the age of five. Marketer researcher and social media manager on hold, full – time mommy of a cheerful two-year-old. Graduated from Queensford college, worked in a couple of marketing agencies across Australia, eager to learn more about business and share her experiences. Traveled across the Europe. Her hobbies include: home decor, fashion, travel, music, old movies. You can find her on Twitter.
One garden may not save the world but it can set an example 😉
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ecogreenlove is a completely free website that offers information, tips and guide to live a more sustainable life. We are two persons doing everything: from research, design, P.R. to posting on social networks.