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Green Living Tips for Your Yard

Few things satisfy the average homeowner more than a lush green lawn. However, for those who incorporate"green-living" habits into their daily lives, the real triumph is achieving a beautiful yard in an environmentally friendly way. The good news is that green lawn care is not all that different from standard outdoor practices. So, if you want to grow a green lawn in every word, try implementing some of these tips.

10 Green Living Tips For Your Yard

Green Tool Tips

Keep Equipment in Top Shape

Existing equipment will be more efficient and less of an environmental concern if it is properly maintained. Including:

  • Sharpening any applicable blades
  • Replacing old parts when necessary
  • Replacing or cleaning air filters to reduce exhaust

Establish a maintenance schedule and follow it regularly to ensure your yard equipment is working correctly.

Find the Right Mower

Like an old car can release excessive emissions into the air, the same is true of older mowers. However, modern EPA-friendly mowers emit fewer emissions than their predecessors and include carbon filters to capture excess hydrocarbons. Also, electric mowers and other gas-free options are cheaper to use, running for as little as one-quarter the cost per acre as gas mowers. Manual push mowers, of course, consume no energy at all, except your labor.

Forget About Power Tools

Many people use a hose to power wash dirt and debris away from driveways, patios, and walkways, but a simple broom is effective and doesn't wastewater. Along the same lines, there's no need to waste gasoline on a leaf blower when a rake can perform the same job with no outside energy inputs required.


 

Green Planting Tips

Use the Right Soil for the Job

The amount of water your lawn requires depends partly on the constitution of your soil. For example, yards with sandier soil need additional watering compared to clay-based soil yards. However, sandy soil yards should be watered in shorter bursts because the roots absorb water quickly. In general, it would be good to learn more about your home's soil to avoid water waste in the future.

Apply Natural Fertilizers

Fertilizers can be great for grass and flowerbeds, but rain pushes the chemicals into areas that aren't welcome, such as lakes and rivers. However, it is possible to enjoy the benefits of fertilizers - weed prevention and lawn support - while remaining environmentally friendly. You can find organic fertilizers at most nurseries or home improvement stores, which in addition to feeding your grass, can also ward off fungus and stabilize your lawn during droughts. In addition, all-natural fertilizers reduce the environmental impact, making them worth the additional cost.

Seek Alternatives to Kentucky Bluegrass

Kentucky bluegrass is the most commonly found grass in yards across the country. While it has positive qualities, it also requires more water to grow well. Homeowners looking to reduce their water usage can find alternative grass options at their neighborhood nurseries. In addition, planting native grass instead of Kentucky bluegrass can lead to less watering and easier maintenance.

Leave Grass Clippings Where They Lie

Raking up grass clippings denies the lawn a necessary natural fertilizer. As grass clippings decompose, their nutrients go back into the soil. Leaving the clippings to fertilize the lawn also prevents them from being added to the waste at a landfill site.


 

Green Watering Tips

Conserve Water in Your Plantings

To reduce the amount of water spent on fresh plantings:

  • Plant smart.
  • Start by planting native species that are used to the amount of rain your area typically receives. This will prevent additional watering from being necessary to keep the plant alive.
  • Apply composite to the soil to retain moisture as well.

Water Effectively

Watering the lawn during the afternoon hours results in most of the water evaporating in the heat. This wasteful practice does little to nourish the lawn. Instead, water at night or before the sun rises allows the grass to retain most of the moisture without losing it to evaporation. Automated sprinkler systems can support these watering practices without forcing homeowners to alter their sleep schedules.


 

Green Lanscaping Tips

Keep the Landscaping Variable

Growing just one type of plant in your garden or landscaping is sure to draw pests attracted to its offerings. Mixing up the plantings makes the space less desirable to pests and pushes them elsewhere. Furthermore, proper landscaping adds plants that replace harmful carbon dioxide with oxygen, and it can also occupy lawn space previously reserved for grass. This means less space to mow and water, which reduces the environmental footprint.

Plant Trees Around the Property

Planting a tree does more than improving the aesthetic appeal of a neighborhood. It also cleans the air by absorbing carbon dioxide while providing shade and windbreaks for your property. Local nurseries can help homeowners find trees for any space, and many cities offer rebate incentives for purchasing and planting trees.

Install Motion Sensors

If you are concerned with home security, you may want to leave yard lights on at night, but doing so can waste a significant amount of electricity. Instead, switch to motion-sensor lights that illuminate in response to movement. This simple change can reduce outdoor energy expenses by nearly 30 percent.

Use Solar Lights

For those who want to illuminate a garden, flag, or other focal points of their yard, solar-powered lights are a helpful option. They charge all day from the sun and use that solar energy to provide clean light at night, reducing the need for additional electricity.

Avoid Pressure-Treated Wood

Homeowners looking to construct a fence shed, or deck may be drawn to pressure-treated wood because it is inexpensive and readily available – but it is also bad for the air we breathe. The chemicals that 'treat' the wood will slowly enter the atmosphere as the structure ages, harming the environment and those who breathe in the chemicals. Untreated wood options may be slightly more expensive, but the health and environmental benefits outweigh the cost.

A green lifestyle doesn't end at the front door. There are many things that you can do outside of the home to protect the environment they love and keep it looking healthy for the next generation.

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