When it comes to preserving the environment, we usually start inside of our homes. But going green and practicing sustainable habits extends beyond the front door. Here are three ways to create a more earth-friendly backyard:
Save Water: Swap Your Lawn for an Alternative Landscape
California’s recent water crisis has left government officials scratching their heads, thinking up innovative new ways to conserve water. A small lawn requires 35,000 gallons of water per year. And it’s estimated that California residents overwater by 60 percent, according to the Association of California Water Agencies. Leaders have taken an approach to start small to conserve the precious resource. For example, in San Diego, residents are encouraged to trade in their lawns for a landscape that doesn’t require any water.
Follow California’s lead and decorate your yard with stones, gravel, succulent plants and cacti for a modern look that requires very little water. If you prefer something a little greener, consider a synthetic lawn, or use native grasses like buffalo grass or hair grass. Once these native types are grown, they can thrive off of rainfall. Additionally, you can use a plot of backyard space for a vegetable and herb garden. This solution still requires water, however, you’ll be able to enjoy your harvest without wasting water on a lawn.
Keep Chemicals Out: Treat Your Pool With A Natural Solution
The hot tub and the pool are two potentially hazardous areas of the backyard, because of the chemicals used to maintain them. However, there are alternative, more natural, solutions to help keep them clear and in balance. Most pool sanitizers are harsh and can be potentially harmful, yet, Natural Chemistry’s Pool First-Aid Clarifier is safe enough to be used every two days and strong enough to free up clogged pool filters, eliminate residues and remove chemical odors, all while making the pool clear and cloud-free. Other products like Natural Chemistry’s Spa Foundation, a mineral-based formula, can be used in hot tubs to soften the water in addition to restoring the water to its original state — crystal clear. For more on natural pool treatment products, visit PoolCenter.com.
Recycled Relaxation: Decorating With Reusable Materials
There are a handful of ways to create a sustainable entertaining area, from tables and chairs made from reclaimed wood to decorating with thrift shop secondhand goods. But not everyone wants to decorate their outdoor space with someone’s already lived-in deck furniture.
If you’ve got an eye for style but want to decorate with the earth in mind, check out Crate and Barrel’s new collection of environmentally-friendly outdoor furniture. The upscale furniture retailer now offers sustainable products for outdoor spaces in addition to the wide range of eco-friendly products they offer for the home. For example, the Regatta teak collection is supported by the TFT, a nonprofit that promotes conservation and responsible forest management. Additionally, the Arbor collection is Forest Stewardship Council-certified, the entire wicker collection is handwoven from 100 percent recycled non-toxic resin and the extra cushions and fabrics used to make Sunbrella products are never sent to landfills, they are recycled.
The experts from Apartment Therapy suggest additional sustainable options including furniture by the manufacturer Loll, a company who makes recycled furniture from discarded milk containers, and Haskell, which uses up to 85 percent of recycled materials for their stainless-steel outdoor furniture.