Now that we’re in the midst of spring, it’s a great time to talk about green options that extend beyond interiors and to the outdoors. In terms of ownership, this means landscaping.

Truth is, there are a lot of easy steps you can take to make your yard work more eco-friendly. Being knowledgeable of these opportunities is half the battle; the other half is simply putting the steps into place. One of the biggest steps you can take to improve the effect of your landscaping on the environment relates to an issue so simple, you might not even realize how important it is: storm water.

Did You Know?

Storm Water Can Run off and Damage Water Supplies! The biggest threat to today’s quality water supply lies in stormwater runoff! The rain water or melted snow that doesn’t thoroughly soak into the ground can run off of streets, patios and blacktop into sewers, rivers and waterways, transporting undesirable elements (think pesticides, waste, sediment from construction, etc.) that harm the water. The water becomes undrinkable, worsening water shortages. In other cases, the storm water can add to flooding problems and the damages caused by it.

Paver Stones or Bricks are Greener Alternatives to Asphalt/Concrete! Spaces between pavers allow for more water retention, reducing the amount of stormwater runoff. Other alternatives include trenches around problem areas, downspouts redirected from the roof towards foliage rather than sewers and the addition of organic materials to soil. Also note that in terms of water absorption, plants are better than lawns and exposed soil should be covered with materials like wood chips or mulch.

Rain Barrels Conserve Rainwater for Plants! By using a rain barrel, you collect storm water to later use in watering plants. This not only reduces stormwater runoff, but it also makes your plant-watering more efficient!