As a homeowner, you most likely want your space to be clean, attractive, and valuable. While these may all seem like simple goals, incorporating eco-friendly living into your home's design and function can be challenging. When it comes to your landscaping, a green lawn and some colorful flowers may be on your agenda. However, intertwining beautiful landscaping with environmentally friendly equipment and accessories is key. If you want to go green on your home's green, consider these eco-friendly features to conserve water, energy, and money.
Reducing your overall water usage is imperative for an eco-friendly lifestyle. If your home utilizes a city water supply, water conservation is even more important for reducing your monthly bill. Here are a few landscaping options that will help reduce your water usage:
- Drought-Tolerant Plants – A large portion of your water may go towards irrigating your grass and other plants. Drought tolerant plants do not require excessive moisture since they thrive in warmer temperatures and direct sunlight. Opt for Bermuda grass for your lawn, hydrangea for shrubs, and sage or coneflowers for your flowers. These beautiful options are easy to maintain, so they require very little water and time.
- Rain Barrel – Even with drought-tolerant plants, occasional water is necessary. With a rain barrel, you can collect 300 gallons of water for every inch of rain that falls on a 500 square foot of roof. Hook up a hose to your rain barrel and use to water your landscape or small garden.
- Irrigation - Irrigation systems are smart options for protecting your investment in professional landscaping from a company like Kona Land and Water Escapes, but proper use is essential for conserving water. Ensure your system operates off a timer to protect your lawn, trees, and shrubs without using excessive water.
In many landscape designs, natural areas and flowerbeds enhance the home's exterior. In most cases, these areas contain flowers, shrubs, and trees with surrounding pine straw and mulch. Necessary for appeal, weed prevention, and regulating soil and moisture content, mulch allows your landscaping to grow and thrive. Fortunately, there are a few eco-friendly options available for your mulching needs including:
- Rubber – Old tires can become rubber mulch that is attractive and soft.
- Eucalyptus – A renewable option that grows quickly, eucalyptus is a friend to the environment. In addition, it is an attractive option that offers an appealing aroma.
- DIY – Shred newspapers and spread around your beds, but cover with a thin layer of wood chips. Or, after mowing, compost leaves and grass clippings to use as mulch.
Although surprising to hear, your landscaping can reduce your home's energy costs. Landscaping to block wind and to provide shade around your home helps reduce your heating and cooling costs. Of course, it is important to consider your specific climate when designing your landscape.
If you live in hot, humid climates, plant trees around your home that are lush through the summer season. A 6-foot to 8-foot deciduous tree will begin shading your home the very first year. After 5 or more years, the same tree will shade your home's roof.
In cooler climates, ensure the sun reaches your windows in the southern part of your home. Plant trees to break wind gusts during the winter months. This will help deflect wintry wind from your home.
Positioning trees around your home helps deflect cold air and shade your home for insulation. By positioning trees correctly, you can reduce your energy usage up to 25 percent.
Going green on your green has never been easier. Using these eco-friendly features and tips, you can save water, conserve energy, and have a beautiful landscape design.