Lush landscaping offers a huge bonus when it comes to first impressions. Potential buyers notice the outside of your home first, so if this buyer observes a bare and dull yard, the first opinion has not proved positive. Well-maintained trees, bushes and flower gardens make your house appear more inviting and bright. But now, landscaping can also mean you’re helping the environment! There are plenty of green tips you can follow when pampering your yard.
- A/C Unit: During these steamy summer months, your air-conditioning unit runs like mad. By planting bushes in front of the unit, the bushes shade it and therefore allow it to use up less electricity. The bushes look nice, cover up the unit and save energy!
- Trees: Planting trees lend loads of positives. If you plant trees on the south and west side of your home, you will keep the majority of the sun from burning through your windows and therefore will keep your home cooler. If you live up north, the fall and winter months allow your rooms to become bright and beautiful with plentiful amounts of sunshine streaming through. Evergreen trees are perfect for planting near your exterior to protect the outside from harsh winds. By planting trees, you’re also keeping the air clean by combating CO2 admissions.
- Flower gardens: By planting flower gardens right outside your windows, you’ll be more apt to open the windows and let the fresh scent fill your home. When the weather is suitable, opening the windows allows fresh air to clean out the germs floating around inside, and it prevents the heater or air-conditioner from running. Why not add a fresh scent to the air too?
- Rain water: Plenty of water gets wasted each day inside your home or from natural rainfalls. Put this water to use! To water your plants, use a water butt (a large container) that allows you to catch rain water and use it when there’s a short supply. You can also trap what is referred to as “grey water” from your house. This is the water that ends up down the drain in your kitchen, laundry tub or shower. You can trap this water and use it on your plants as long as it contains no chemicals.
- Irrigation: If you’re going to water your lawn, water it in the mornings and for a long enough period to soak the roots. If you own an irrigation system, watch the weather channel so you know when you can turn it off. One good watering or rain a week is enough to keep a lawn healthy. Looking for more tips on watering your lawn? Check out our blog about xeriscaping.
- Tools: By using a push mower to mow the lawn and hand tools instead of electronic tools, you are saving energy and gas. At the same time, you’re getting a workout! So why not be healthy and save the environment? So many pluses come from living green.
- Solar-powered lights: If you’d like to light up your walkway to better present the landscaping out front or to line your patio out back, solar-powered lights are the perfect solution. They use solar energy from the daytime to light your yard in the evening. Solar lights offer the perfect amount of light, without being overbearing, and they naturally save energy.
- Compost: To fill your gardens with nutrients, start composting! A third of what you recycle can be composted and used in a positive way instead of in the trash. Garden waste, vegetable and fruit peelings, cardboard and newspapers can all be composted and placed on your gardens and near your trees and bushes. After a few months, your greenery will flourish with fresh nutrients that would have otherwise gone to waste.
Local & Organic
- Local growers: In order to grow successful plants and flowers, buy greenery from local gardeners. You’ll save shipping materials from being used, and native plants can survive better in their native environment. When choosing what to buy, choose flowers that can survive drought periods in order to save time and water. Smart perennial choices include sedums, butterfly weed, coneflower, blanket flower, lavender, sage and yuccas, among others. Smart annuals include begonias, marigolds, dusty millers, petunias and zinnias. Perennials are always the smarter buy because they keep coming back. The more perennials you buy, the less you need to buy in the future.
- Organic products: Use homemade or organic products in your yard instead of products that pour chemicals into the air and onto the plants. Plant-repellent mixtures like potato, onion and turnip can keep leaf beetles off your trees, and a mint, tansy and pennyroyal mix can keep away ants. Find more examples of homemade blends at NBC’s Weather Plus Lawn and Garden Care Tips site.
- Seeds: By growing plants from seeds, you prevent the usage of pots and packaging material that you’d receive from a store. By growing perennials instead of annuals, you save packing materials that you’d otherwise come home with each year. If you still find yourself buying an abundant number of plants, bring a small cardboard box with you to the store in order to reduce the number of pots. If you do buy a pot plant, ask the store if they reuse or recycle pots. Save them and bring them to places that do.
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A energy-saving tip for the garden
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