Install Motion Sensors
Those concerned with their home security may leave yard lights on at night, but doing so is wasteful. Instead, switch to motion-sensor lights that illuminate in response to movement. This simple change can reduce outdoor energy expenses by as much as 30 percent.
Sweep Driveways, Patios and Walkways
Many people use a hose to power wash dirt and debris away from these areas, but a simple broom is just as efficient and doesn't waste water.
Apply Natural Fertilizers
Fertilizers are great for grass and flowerbeds, but rain pushes the chemicals into areas where they aren't welcome, such as lakes and rivers. All-natural fertilizers reduce the environmental impact, making them worth the additional cost.
Use Solar Lights
For those who want to illuminate a garden, flag, or other focal point of their yard, solar-powered lights are a helpful option. They charge all day and use that solar energy to provide clean light at night, reducing the need for additional electricity.
Planting a tree does more than improve the aesthetic appeal of a neighborhood. It also cleans the air by absorbing carbon dioxide. Local nurseries can help homeowners find trees for any space, and many cities offer rebate incentives for purchasing and planting trees.
Keep The Landscaping Variable
Planting one type of plant in your garden or landscaping is sure to draw pests that are attracted to its offerings. Mixing up the plantings, however, makes the space less desirable and pushes pests to go elsewhere.
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 environment. The chemicals that 'treat' the wood will slowly enter the atmosphere as the structure ages, harming the environment as well as those who breathe in the chemicals. Untreated wood options may be slightly more expensive, but the health and environmental benefits outweigh the cost.
Water The Grass Appropriately
Homeowners who must water their grass should avoid doing so during the day's peak hours as the heat will burn the water off before it has a chance to nourish the lawn. Instead, water in the early morning or evening when the sun is not at its height. This will reduce water waste and nourish the grass as well.
Leave Grass Clippings Where They Lay
Raking up grass clippings denies the lawn an important natural fertilizer. As grass clippings decompose, their nutrients go back into the soil. Leaving the grass clippings to fertilize the lawn also prevents them from being added to the waste at a landfill site.
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.
A green-living lifestyle doesn't end at the front door. There are many things homeowners can do outside of the home to protect the environment they love and keep it looking healthy for the next generation.