When trying to live more eco-friendly or ‘green’, there’s a lot of changes we can make around the home. Some of the methods people will adopt include changing to eco-friendly light bulbs, installing double glazed windows and ensuring the home is properly insulated. But when considering a green lifestyle around the home, we often forget about simple changes we can make to the outdoor areas of our home. While there’s lots you can do indoors, there’s also some really remarkable changes you can make to the outside of your home that can lead to increased efficiency.
1. SOLAR PANELS
Solar energy is an efficient method of either providing hot water to your home with a solar hot water system, or for your electricity usage. Although it may seem like solar panels and their installation are an expensive up-front cost, you will find that you receive great savings on your electricity bills each quarter. In some cases, you may have no electricity bill at all. This will be dependent on a number of factors, such as the location of your home, how much power is generated from the sun and your own individual power usage. Solar panels are also low maintenance, can withstand bouts of bad weather and may even help your roofing to last longer.
2. MAKE YOUR INDOORS THE OUTDOORS
Instead of closing up your house and turning on the air conditioner, why not combine your outdoor indoor areas? Not only can you enjoy the sunshine and beautiful breeze outside, you’ll be opening up your home to fresh air to help cool the home down. You’ll also be making the home appear larger as you’ll essentially be creating a new living area for the home. You can also create an outdoor kitchen area and use gas cooking appliances instead of the electric appliances in your kitchen.
3. USE GREEN MATERIALS
Adding a deck to your backyard? You may want to consider using green materials such as bamboo or possibly recycled or reclaimed wood. There are a number of suppliers and hardware stores that provide green materials for your outdoor building needs. You may also consider using second-hand or recycled materials such as wrought iron or old railroad ties. These items will be able to add a one-of-a-kind factor to your outdoor space and create a unique feel that wouldn’t be possible with brand-new materials and pieces.
4. ECO-FRIENDLY KIDS PLAY AREAS
For years, playgrounds and backyards have been home to old rubber tyres that are used by children. Although such a simple piece of equipment, they can be painted various colours, stacked and even placed on walls to climb on. Recycled tyres can last for years and provide a simple outlet for children to use their imagination. Reusing and upcycling materials outside can be a great way of reducing landfill and making your outdoor play areas more ecological.
5. CREATE NATURAL FERTILISER
Many people spend a lot of money at their local nurseries paying for mulch, soils and other fertilisers. Instead of paying for such items, you can make your own compost simply with food scraps in your kitchen. By creating a compost heap, you can create your own soils and fertilisers full of nutrients for your garden. You’ll be helping reduce landfill by not throwing out food scraps, plus you’ll have a garden full of nutrients in return.
6. CHOOSE ECO-FRIENDLY FURNITURE
Just like your building materials, you can also look for eco-friendly outdoor furniture. If possible, choose second hand furniture and make it your own with a little DIY. It could be as simple as customising a few chairs by giving them a new coat of paint. Alternatively, look for outdoor furniture options made from resourceful materials such as bamboo or reclaimed wood.
7. CHOOSE LOW MAINTENANCE PLANTS
Especially in the warmer months, you may want to consider plants that are low maintenance and don’t require much water and attention. As it heats up in summer, some areas will have water restrictions in place, meaning you won’t be able to water your plants. Instead, by having plants that don’t require much water, these restrictions won’t impact you as much. Even without further water restrictions in place, you’ll be able to reduce your water consumption each year, which can lead to a reduced cost on your water bills.
MAKE YOUR BACKYARD ECO-FRIENDLY
Being eco-friendly outside of the home doesn’t need to be hard. These few simple changes can make a huge difference, not just to the environment, but to your wallet as well. By increasing the amount of eco-friendly materials and aspects in and around our home, we can reduce our carbon footprint and help our families save money each year. Reducing landfill waste is an aspect all families should be looking to achieve, and with a few simple changes and a bit of DIY, you too can help the environment and have a stunning outdoor area for your home.