Think it’s too difficult to “go green”? Let us prove you wrong.
You might be thinking about making your backyard more eco-friendly for a few reasons. Maybe you want to save on your water bill, or you're interested in reducing your carbon footprint. Whatever the reason, there are plenty of ways to make your yard more environmentally-friendly.
The most common challenge people face when trying to make their backyard “green” is figuring out how to start. It can be daunting if you think you have to change your entire lifestyle, but implementing a few simple adjustments can make a big difference that won't disrupt your daily routine.
Making your backyard more eco-friendly is important for a few reasons. For starters, it can help you save on your water and electricity bills. Secondly, it's a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. And finally, creating an eco-friendly backyard can be a lot of fun!
Keep reading for five easy ways to make your backyard more eco-friendly.
1. Plant trees and bushes to provide shade and privacy
One of the best ways to make your backyard more eco-friendly is to plant trees and bushes. Not only do they provide shade, which can help you save on your energy bill in the summer, but they also offer privacy. If you live in a neighborhood where houses are close together, planting a few trees and bushes can give you some much-needed privacy.
When choosing plants, be sure to pick varieties that are native to your area. That way, you can be sure they'll thrive in your climate. If you live in an area with a lot of sun, opt for drought-resistant varieties that don't require a lot of water. If you live in a colder climate, choose plants that can withstand the cold weather.
This nifty map by the USDA will help you identify your Plant Hardiness Zone. After you found your zone, head over to Gardening Know How and see what trees will be best suited for your local growing climate.
Alternatively, you can also pop into your local nursery, which will be knowledgeable about what plants are best suited for your specific yard. Even though certain trees are native to your area, you'll want to be sure you're planting something appropriate for your available space - even
2. Make your garden a sanctuary for the birds and the bees
Not only are birds and bees beautiful to look at, they're also essential for pollinating plants. Unlike those wasps that have taken over your back patio that you can't seem to get rid of, bees are beneficial for your yard and are too busy to pay you any attention.
By planting a variety of flowers, you can attract bees to your garden and help them do their job. This is a great way to help the struggling bee population without becoming a beekeeper (unless you want to!).
And as for the birds, there are plenty of ways to make your backyard a sanctuary for them, too. One way is to install a birdbath. This will give the birds a place to drink and bathe, while also adding a bit of charm to your garden. Enjoy the soothing sounds of a small fountain, and even keep the mosquitos away as an added bonus.
3. Adjust your sprinklers
It's important to make sure your sprinklers are adjusted properly, whether you live in a climate where it rains a lot or if you're in the middle of a drought. If your sprinklers are spraying water all over the place, you're wasting water and money. You're also causing unnecessary runoff, which can pollute local waterways.
The first thing is to figure out how much water your lawn needs. This will depend on a variety of factors, including the type of grass you have, the climate you live in, and how much sun or shade your yard gets.
If you have automatic sprinklers, adjust the radius to make sure parts of your yard and garden aren't being over-saturated due to crossover from multiple sprinkler heads. You can also skip watering the driveway and sidewalk because cement is incredibly drought-resistant! 😉
Another important step to optimizing your sprinkler system is to water your lawn at the right time of day. Watering in the early morning is best, as it gives the grass time to absorb the water before the heat of the day dries it out. Watering at night could lead to fungus growth, as the lawn won't have time to dry out before nightfall.
4. Start a vegetable garden to grow your own food
One of the best ways to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle is by starting a vegetable garden to grow your own food. Not only is this a great way to get fresh, healthy vegetables, but you're also reducing the amount of food that needs to be transported from far away. This is good for the environment and your wallet!
There are many great reasons to start a vegetable garden. For starters, you'll have fresh, healthy vegetables right at your fingertips. You'll know exactly where your food is coming from and how it was grown, and you'll be savoring the satisfaction of eating a delicious salad grown in your own backyard.
Other benefits of having your own vegetable garden are that you'll be reducing your carbon footprint by not relying on transported produce. Not only will you be saving money on your grocery bill, but you'll also be doing your part to help the environment. Transporting produce from thousands of miles away is expensive, timely, and encourages corporations to continue exploiting workers to keep prices low for the end consumers.
Starting a vegetable garden is easy and doesn't have to be expensive. You can start small with just a few plants in flower pots, or go big and build a raised garden bed. Working in the vegetable garden is the perfect excuse to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, and can also be a great form of exercise!
If you're new to gardening and feeling a bit intimidated, just make sure you're planting vegetables that will grow in your climate zone, and check out some of these apps that will give you the dirt on everything you need so you can confidently dig in and get growing.
5. Compost kitchen scraps to use as fertilizer in the garden
One of the best ways to help the environment is by composting kitchen scraps to use as fertilizer in the garden. Not only does this reduce the amount of food waste that goes to landfills, but it also helps your garden thrive!
Creating a compost bin is easy and can be done with materials you likely have lying around your house. You can use an old plastic storage container, a wooden crate, or even an old metal trash can. Just make sure the bin has some holes in the bottom for drainage and airflow.
Once you've got your compost bin set up, it's time to start filling it up with scraps! You can either throw your scraps directly into the bin, or you can use a small container that you keep in your kitchen to collect compostable scraps while cooking, and then empty them into the bigger outside bin when it's full.
Fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, eggshells, and even hair from your brush are all safe to compost. Avoid putting meat, dairy, or oils in your compost bin, as these can attract pests and create a smelly mess. You should also avoid putting anything in the compost bin that has been treated with chemicals, such as pesticides or herbicides.
If you're not sure whether something can be composted or not, it's best to err on the side of caution and just put it in the garbage.
Once your compost is ready, you can use it in your garden to help plants grow! Mix it in with the top layer of soil when you're planting new flowers or vegetables, or use it as a mulch around existing plants to keep the soil moist and protect against weeds.
There are plenty of benefits to composting, not just for the environment but for your garden as well. Compost helps to improve soil quality, reduces the need for fertilizer, and can even help to suppress plant diseases. And of course, it's a great way to recycle kitchen scraps instead of sending them to the landfill.
Making your backyard eco-friendly doesn't have to be difficult or expensive. By following these simple tips, you can enjoy your outdoor space while also doing your part to help the environment. So get outside and start planting, composting, and living a more eco-friendly lifestyle today!