How Green is Your Backyard?

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Summer is the time for fun in the sun, and what better way to enjoy the warmer months than by spending time outdoors.  If you’re looking for ideas to green up your backyard this season, here are some earth-friendly tips:

  • Plant trees, such as deciduous shade trees on the south and western sides of your home.  They’ll keep outdoor spaces and the inside of your home cooler during the summer.  Evergreens planted on the northwest side will help block cold winter winds.
  • Add a rainbarrel or two to your downspouts for a fresh supply of water for gardening and landscaping needs.
  • Mow the lawn with a quiet and non-polluting reel mower.  Sweep instead of using the leaf-blower.
  • Compost yard waste and kitchen food scraps for a nutrient-rich additive your garden and houseplants will love.
  • Minimize use of pesticides, herbicides and insecticides to prevent health hazards to children, pets and wildlife.  See my earlier post about safer lawn and garden practices.
  • Firing up the grill?  Propane is a cleaner-burning fuel than charcoal.
  • Grab some goodies from your garden to make great meals or visit your local farmers’ market for fresh foods.
  • Skip the disposable plates, cups and flatware when eating out on the patio/deck.  Make it special by using real tableware, along with washable tablecloths and napkins.
  • Keep mosquitoes, black flies, fleas, and ticks away with natural citronella oils and candles.
  • If you’re looking for new outdoor furniture, consider some eco-friendly options such those made from recycled materials or sustainable woods.

photo by Kevin Krejci

Tag(s): The Great Green Outdoors


4 Responses to “How Green is Your Backyard?”

  1. Ms LEED Certification on July 24th, 2009 10:44 am

    How does using real tableware maximize greenness? Wouldn’t that be using more water than if someone used disposable plates and utensils? Unless you were talking about the effects of Styrofoam. Please explain this to me, if you wouldn’t mind.

  2. Weekly Intel: News You May Have Missed « HomeIntel on July 24th, 2009 4:43 pm

    […] Greening your backyard […]

  3. Joyce on July 27th, 2009 10:19 am

    Styrofoam and plastic are derived from petroleum and are not biodegradable. Tableware made from these two materials is not typically recyclable either. Studies have also shown that plastics leach toxins into food and beverages. It is best to avoid #3, 6 & 7 plastics altogether. Of course it is also important to conserve water, especially in areas where it is scarce. The water used to wash a full load in the dishwasher is minimal, especially if an efficient model is being used.

  4. Dan on July 29th, 2009 7:24 pm

    In greening your back yard, I’ve seen several homeowners that utilize the tops of their patio covers to put in some solar panels. The price of a good quality Solar panel has dropped significantly. I can now sell them to homeowners for $2.84 per Watt and even less to Contractors & Partners.

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