Is Your Lawn Really Green? Environmentally Friendly Landscaping
May 20, 2020
Caring for your lawn and landscaping requires a lot of time and resources—and can take a surprisingly big toll on the planet. Here are some environmentally friendly ways to truly “go green:”
Do some research to make sure everything you plant is native to your region. Native grasses and plants require less water and fewer nutrients and fertilizers to keep them flourishing. Native plants also provide vital habitat for wildlife and pollinators, promoting a healthy ecosystem in your area.
Use Natural Products
Synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides used in gardens or lawns are later carried away in run-off water to our rivers, lakes, and all other bodies of water. Once in our water, these chemicals can poison fish and other wildlife and contaminate our food sources. Luckily, there are healthier alternatives to these chemicals. You can buy organic fertilizers for your plants, or you can make your own by using dead plants, food scraps, coffee grounds, or even eggshells! You can also leave the grass clippings after mowing the lawn to help your grass grow. Since the grass clippings contain the same nutrients and water as the rest of your lawn, they can serve as a great natural fertilizer as they decompose.
Be Smart About Water
Did you know that one-third of the water Americans use is to water our lawns and gardens? That’s nearly 9 billion gallons of water per day—and half of it is wasted due to inefficient watering methods. Try new watering techniques to save resources, such as watering earlier in the morning so that more water is absorbed and less water evaporates in the heat. You can also install a rain barrel to collect runoff water from your roof that you can use in your garden—helping you save water and money!
Try Greener Lawn Mowers
Gas-powered lawn mowers have a surprisingly big impact on the environment. In fact, using a gas mower for one hour causes more emissions than driving a car 40 miles! A reel or manual mower is the most eco-friendly alternative for cutting your grass. You can also try an electric mower, which doesn’t release harmful emissions like gas mowers. Electric mowers have many other benefits, too. They are typically quieter and lighter than gas mowers, and no gas means no heavy gas containers, no gas spills or fire risks, and no trips to the gas station.
Consider Eco-Friendly Alternatives
Traditional monoculture lawns are not the most sustainable use of the space around your home. Not only do they require large amounts of water and chemicals to maintain, they also lack biological diversity. Luckily there are many alternatives that are more environmentally friendly. Things such as clover, moss, ornamental grasses, and even chamomile can replace grass and serve as a beautiful, eco-friendly ground cover— that doesn’t need to be mowed! You can also reduce the size of your grass lawn with a garden bed or trees to help you cut back on water, chemicals, and mowing. If you want to significantly reduce the amount of water you use outside, consider xeriscaping—a method of landscaping that’s designed to reduce or even eliminate the need for water.
By opting for a healthier landscape outside of your home, you’ll use fewer resources and support a strong, natural ecosystem. Looking for more ways to go green? Sign up for 100% clean, renewable energy today!
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