77% of people in the United States are working to make their lifestyles sustainable. In your quest for sustainable living, be careful not to neglect your garden—landscaping isn’t typically environmentally friendly. 90 million pounds of fertilizer and 78 million pounds of pesticides are used annually on lawns nationwide, which, in turn, contaminates the air, drinking water, and ecosystem. By making your garden sustainable, you can prevent pollution and create a beautiful and eco-friendly outdoor space.
Opt For Timber
Timber is one of the most sustainable materials to use in garden landscaping. Trees lock in and store carbon as they grow, as well as throughout the entire lifecycle of the resulting timber. Trees are also sustainable by their very nature – they produce oxygen, reduce air pollution, prevent soil erosion and flooding, and stabilize temperatures. Timber is also affordable, beautiful, and extremely versatile – for example, you can use timber to create a wooden path through your garden. Timber decking boards are durable and weather-resistant, while their rich brown tones beautifully complement your lush green foliage. Alternatively, timber screens can create separate, secluded spots around your garden as needed. Timber screens allow plenty of natural light to filter through while also providing beauty and privacy.
Switch Up Your Lawn
Real grass isn’t always ideal for your environmental footprint – largely because it requires regular watering. In fact, landscape irrigation is responsible for at least one third of residential water usage in the United States. Conversely, artificial grass can play a key role in your water conservation efforts. It doesn’t require watering – only an occasional spray with the hose to keep it clean. Moreover, artificial grass also eliminates the need for pesticides and fertilizers, which are harmful to both human health and the environment. If you don’t want to replace your entire lawn with artificial grass, you can also opt for eco-friendly ground cover that requires little to no watering, fertilizing, or mowing. Thyme, for example, is a pretty choice; it’s drought-resistant, thrives in sun and shade, and just needs a quick mowing at the end of flowering.
Prioritizing permeability is essential for preventing flash floods – 41 million homes in the United States are now at risk from flooding. By preparing your garden for heavy rains, you can prevent floods and damage to your garden and home. So, for example, since hard landscaping like tarmac and paving can cause problems during heavy rainfall as the excess water has nowhere to go, replace it with porous materials. Gravel, in particular, is ideal: it’s cheap, attractive, and lets water drain quickly. You can also work on improving your garden’s soil structure; clay or dense, compacted soil prevents water from absorbing into the ground. Fortunately, digging compost and mulch into the soil is an easy way to improve permeability.
Creating a sustainable garden doesn’t have to be complicated. By opting for timber and artificial grass, and prioritizing permeability, you can successfully create a beautiful garden, while also lowering your environmental footprint.