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Go Green for the Patio Season

With the warm weather returning, you may be starting to plan for your backyard and deck area.   Making choices outside your home that support your commitment to sustainable living is getting easier, with many new recycled product introductions.  Non-renewable resources such as non-recycled plastics that create harmful emissions during manufacturing can be completely avoided with some research and experimentation with new products and you can purchase eco-friendly furnishings. Plan your outside space with the environment in mind.  From patio furniture to the type of plants you add to your backyard, every sustainable choice you make has a benefit to the environment without compromising your enjoyment.  We’ve put together a few tips to get you thinking green this patio season.

Get Planting!

Some plants look spectacular, but imported plants that are not natural to your area come at a cost to the environment.   Consider the amount of emissions generated by trucking in or flying plants from other areas?   There is enough natural biodiversity in your own ecosystem to select blooms, trees, hedges and even vegetables for your garden that are hardy and suited to their natural environment.  

Planting a vegetable garden takes an investment of time, but the rewards are worth it.  First, you are reducing your reliance on imported foods.  Secondly, you are reducing your consumption of pesticides, hormones or other additives that are both harmful to your health and to the environment.   Plant some fruit trees native to your area and enjoy the benefits in as little as four years.  Create a garden that provides your table with home grown fresh vegetables, and reduce the demand for industrially processed foods. You might even find it fun!

Explore plants such as marigolds, chili peppers, yarrow and thyme which naturally repel pests.  Most herbs are a deterrent for insects, so consider planting them in between tomatoes and other vegetables to help protect your produce.   They are great for cooking as well.   If you don’t have a backyard, use potted plants to achieve the same results on your deck or balcony.

Reclaim and Repurpose Water

Waste not want not!  If you’ve been following the news you already know that fresh water is in short supply.  Why waste it at all watering your lawn or outdoor plants?  It’s not a responsible use of such a rare non-renewable resource which is exactly how we all have to start thinking about our water use.

Don’t wash your car at home.  Automated car washes collect, filter and reuse the water that is spent cleaning your vehicle.  On average more than 50% of the water they use is reclaimed and repurposed as compared to 100% of the water and detergent you use in the driveway literally going down the drain, with harmful chemicals into our water table.  

A rain barrel is a great way to capture water and repurpose it.  Why increase your water bill and waste water, when you can reserve it in a rain barrel and use it to water your plants instead?   Rainwater also tends to be free of chemicals and nutrient rich, which is better for your garden and the environment.

Sustainable Wood Furniture

Unless it is recycled plastic, opt for organic wood furnishings that are durable and certified to be produced from sustainable practices.  Many eco-friendly patio furnishings are repurposed wood that is reclaimed from construction or other areas and do not contribute to mass deforestation.  Bamboo and wicker are sustainable furnishings, as they are both types of woody plants that quickly regenerate and are easy to grow.   Look for furnishings that are built using organic methods to avoid VOC (volatile organic compounds) from glue or other toxic materials, which are bad for the environment and your health.

About Author : 

Stefanie Gomez is associated with Essentia, manufacturers of the world’s only natural memory-foam mattresses. She understands the importance about green/Healthy living hence she generally blogs about eco-friendly lifestyle, health/wellness, healthy and sustainable living options. She is also passionate about reading, photography, cooking, gadgets and yoga.