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Create a Nature-Friendly Backyard Space In 10 Steps

Hot tub surrounded by nature.

It is always nice to come home to a beautiful backyard on a warm, sunny day. It’s good to make a little nature oasis to help calm the mind and enjoy the natural beauty that the world has to offer. But you might be wondering how you can make this oasis and still show respect to the nature around you.

Creating a nature-friendly backyard space is rather easy with a few changes and additions to your yard. Whether you’re starting your backyard from scratch or looking to revamp what you have, consider the following list to make your backyard more eco-friendly.

1. Plant Native Plants and Flowers

Planting native plants and flowers provide plenty of benefits to your backyard. Not only are plants and flowers pretty to look at but they also play a crucial role in our ecosystem. For starters, plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen back into the earth’s atmosphere.

Flowers are perfect for attracting pollinators such as bees. About 80% of our food crops need pollination from animals and bugs, leaving only 20% to survive without the help of pollinators. By inviting pollinators into your backyard, you’ll be aiding in plant reproduction.

Some flowers that attract pollinators include:

  • Bee Balm
  • Black-Eyed Susans
  • Daisies
  • Dandelions
  • Lavender

If you use native species of plants and flowers, you’ll also be saving some money. Native species can survive on their own because they have adapted to their environment over many years. In return, you’ll be using less water to take care of your backyard, saving you a little bit of money.

2. Plant a Vegetable Garden

Planting your vegetable garden is both healthy for you and the earth! Vegetables provide all the essential nutrients you need to stay healthy. However, grocery store produce might have some added chemicals that aren’t healthy for you.

Most commercial vegetable crops use harmful chemicals and fertilizers to help them grow and keep bugs away. So, grocery store vegetables require some scrubbing and cleaning to remove these chemicals. However, if you grow your vegetables, you can use natural pesticides.

Growing a vegetable garden can also help save the Earth by lowering gas emissions in the atmosphere. Commercial vegetable production causes greenhouse gas emissions. Clearing the land, building farms, using motorized farming equipment, using chemicals, and transportation release emissions.

Greenhouse gases and climate change go hand-in-hand. They trap heat inside the Earth’s atmosphere, changing its climate. By growing a vegetable garden, you are reducing your carbon footprint.

3. Compost

Starting a composting bin is perfect for reducing waste on your property. The best part is that you can use compost to keep your garden and flowers healthy.

Compost bins are a place to throw all of your organic waste such as:

  • Food scraps
  • Leaves
  • Grass
  • Paper
  • Hay
  • Wood chips

Within your compost bin, you’ll combine the organic waste with water and soil. Over time, microorganisms will break down the organic matter, which adds nutrients to the soil.

Composting is a natural way of breaking down organic waste rather than letting it rot in a landfill under mountains of non-biodegradable garbage. The process is natural and reduces methane emissions into the atmosphere, which helps the environment.

After your compost finishes breaking down, you can use it in your backyard to feed nutrients to your plants and flowers.

4. Use Organic Mulch

Mulch is a common landscaping item and is very easy to find. Just go to your local hardware store, and they are sure to have plenty of mulch options in stock. The most common mulch types you will find in stores are natural. Wood chips or shredded bark work as mulch. You can also make your own.

However, there are other versions of mulch that aren’t natural. They typically contain plastics, which aren’t biodegradable. Always opt for organic, natural options over synthetic mulch options.

Besides being healthier for your plants, organic mulch can help your garden. Covering your flower beds and vegetable garden in mulch will protect your plants from weeds, retain moisture, and insulate your plants’ roots.

It’s a good idea to use organic mulch in your backyard to keep your plants healthy and your backyard low-maintenance.

5. Collect Rainwater

Collecting rainwater is a great way to lower your water usage. Most people water their gardens and backyards with hoses or sprinklers, which can use quite a lot of water. Sprinklers can waste up to 50% of the water they spray due to wind and other factors.

But another way to keep your plants watered without wasting unnecessary amounts of water is to collect rainwater.

Using a barrel to harvest rainwater is free and easy! All you need to do is buy the barrel and set it up near your house’s roof. The barrel will collect runoff from your roof, giving you a water supply to water your backyard plants. Collecting rainwater allows you to save your treated water for indoor use only.

6. Use Natural Pesticides

Commercial pesticides can be harmful to humans and animals because they contain chemicals rather than natural ingredients. Ingesting these chemicals can cause poisoning in humans and animals and they can also cause indirect poisoning.

When it rains, the pesticides can wash off the plants, causing the chemicals to travel through runoff water. The runoff water empties into larger bodies of water where animals and people can get exposed to the chemicals, causing health hazards.

You don’t need pesticides for home gardens and backyards. Natural pesticide options, if you need them, contain ingredients that come from nature, such as minerals and plant extracts.

Natural pesticides are much safer for you, your pets, and the wildlife around you. You can even make some of these natural remedies at home!

Some natural pesticides you can make include:

  • Soap and water spray
  • Garlic spray
  • Hot pepper spray

7. Use Eco-Friendly Furniture

Buying used outdoor furniture is an excellent way to keep furniture out of landfills. You can find some fascinating finds at yard sales and secondhand stores, and most items are usually in good condition. Eco-friendly furniture will save you lots of money in the long run.

If you are not into buying used furniture, you have other options to keep your yard as eco-friendly as possible. Look for furniture that uses recycled or biodegradable and reusable materials like wood. Try to steer clear of metal furniture because if it ever ends up in a landfill, it will not decompose.

Wooden furniture is your best bet if you’re going for a nature-friendly backyard. If the furniture is too plain-looking, you can always paint it or dress it up with cushions made of recycled materials. Your backyard will look great and will be more environmentally friendly.

8. Use Artificial Grass

Opting for a fake lawn is another simple task that can reduce your carbon footprint, and it is less work for you. You’ll be spending less time mowing, watering, or treating your plants and more time relaxing. You’ll be saving money as well.

Artificial turf is durable and will always look great, regardless of the season. You’ll always have a luscious lawn to look at all year round. It also cuts down your water usage significantly, you don’t need to use harmful pesticides and fertilizers, and you don’t need to use lawn equipment.

It’s a winning situation for both you and the environment.

9. Make a Green Roof

You might be wondering what a green roof is, and no, it doesn’t mean you’re just painting your roof green. Green roofs are alive. You’ll need to waterproof your roof and then plant vegetation on top of it. You can plant various plants and grasses on top of it, giving your house the look of a forest bed.

Green roofs can provide shade, purify the air, and invite wildlife to your yard. They also have the power to reduce your house’s internal temperature on hot days because plants absorb sunlight. On colder days, they can insulate your home.

With a green roof, you’ll be cutting down your electricity bill by using less heat and air conditioning. A green roof will bring character to your backyard space and provide a beautiful heightened landscape to look at.

10. Invest in Some Outdoor Solar-Powered Lights

Electricity accounts for about 40% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, as we make electricity from fossil fuels. Only using electricity when you need it or switching to solar-powered lights is always a great idea!

If you want to enjoy your backyard oasis at night, you’ll need to install some lights. You could just plug in some string lights and turn on your porch lights. However, they aren’t environmentally friendly. Solar-powered yard lights are a better option.

Solar-powered lights are easy to set up. Just put them where you want them, and they’ll collect energy from the sun all day, storing it in their battery. By nighttime, they should light up for hours without a problem. Your wallet will appreciate the savings from your power bill.

Final Thoughts

A healthy lifestyle starts at home, and should include ourselves and the planet. Creating a nature-friendly backyard space is the best way to start reducing your carbon footprint. Although the things on this list might seem like small changes, they still matter in the grand scheme of doing your part to help the environment.

Is it time to create the backyard of your dreams?

Our team of backyard leisure experts at Sundance Spas of Jackson Hole are here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our backyard essentials and supplies for sale, from hot tubs and accessories, to BBQs and everything in between!

 


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