Most people don't take the time to consider how their front or back yards are affecting the environment. While many property owners make investments in energy efficient products like solar panels or LED light bulbs, they hardly think of how the property beyond the walls of their home is being wasted when it could promote an efficient and sustainable environment. It's time to think beyond the staples of what we consider green living and maximize what the right type of landscaping can do for your environmental impact. Here are some ideas that will make your yard your neighborhood's beacon of sustainability:
Long before pristine sprawls of useless grass became the standard use for a homeowner's plot of earth, the soil was used to feed the family and even make a profit. Now, fruits and vegetables are picked before they are ripe and are shipped half way around the world to arrive on grocery shelves with the right color but lacking the flavor of locally grown, ripe produce. Why buy bland, imported produce with a large carbon footprint when you can grow it just outside?
Start by building a wooden box frame and filling it with top soil or hiring one of the best landscapers in Utah to help. This project can be as simple or complex as you like. Build the walls of the box and don't cover it: that's where your plants will grow. A bottom for the box is not necessary, but if you are concerned about old pollutants in your yard's dirt like motor oil or lead that might be leeched into the garden's top soil, you can lay out a plywood floor to build your box around. You can make this box frame as long and wide as you like, and you can build multiple frames with walking space of about three feet between them if you have the space for it and want to compartmentalize your garden.
Once each box is filled with rich top soil from your gardening supply store, or better yet your own compost pile, you can begin planting seeds. A raised garden will benefit your wallet, your dinner table, and the world's climate when you stop feeding the beast of the global grocery supply chain and bring things back to your own yard.
Buying a compost bin is a great way to start taking the biodegradable food waste hauled to the dump and recycle it right at home. Garbage trucks need to pick up, haul, and bury your coffee grounds, food scraps, leaves, newspaper, ashes, and other biodegradable trash, but if you start putting it into a compost bin you can create a carbon and nitrogen rich fertilizer to put directly into your garden to nourish soil and feed plants. By buying a low cost compost bin (a plastic one will suffice), you can reduce waste production and turn your garden into a fertile paradise at the cost of an easy to set up bin and the time it takes for your food and yard waste to decompose inside it.
Low Flow Watering System
Lawn lovers can go green by limiting their water use. Some sprinklers are designed to maximize efficiency with water usage. Look for a "low flow" sprinkler or sprinkler kit, and do your part to protect our water reserves. Lawns are considered a luxury in a draught-prone area, so limiting your yard's water usage can help ensure water is there for it in the long run.
With these simple green yard tips, you can be sure to make an impact on your local environment and neighborhood. The effort you put into your yard will not only help your wallet but the entire environment.