This is a collaborative post.
There’s a big push at the moment to be more environmentally friendly – to find ways to reduce waste, build more sustainable habits, and do our bit for the planet. At home, many of us are looking for ways to cut our use of disposables, use less energy, and be greener with our purchases and choices. There are many advantages to living a greener life. Not only is it better for the planet, but it can also save you money, help you to set good examples for your children, and even improve your health and wellbeing.
But have you thought about your garden? Most of us are guilty of assuming that outdoor spaces are, by default, environmentally friendly. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, especially in home gardens. There are many common mistakes that we make, both with the layout and design of our gardens and with the products that we use in them, that could be damaging to wildlife and the planet around us.
The good news is, just like the improvements that you can make inside your house, changes that you make to your garden can save you money and time and help you to create a more peaceful and healthier garden. Here’s a look at some of the best things that you can do to create a more sustainable outdoor space.
Look to the Future
We’re all guilty of buying things on impulse, thinking only about how they’ll look right now, and not of how long they might last, or how much maintenance they might need in the future. Take decking, for example. You might think that wooden decking as a natural material is the most environmentally friendly choice. But, when we consider the trees being cut down to create decking, the transport and fuel needed to move these heavy materials, and the toxins and chemicals needed to stain and maintain our garden decking in the years to come, suddenly it’s not such a sound choice.
Composite decking from Ecoscape UK is typically a better option. Ecoscape UK composite decking lasts far longer than wooden decking, needs less maintenance, is much easier to clean, and doesn’t need staining once it has been installed. If you build yourself a composite deck, there will be no need to worry about it for many years to come.
With every change that you make to your garden, consider how long it will last and what you’ll need to do to keep it looking its best.
Welcome in Wildlife
There are so many benefits to welcoming wildlife into your garden, not least that it helps to support local ecosystems and gives wildlife a safe place to thrive.
One of the best ways to encourage wildlife to visit is to go native with your plants and flowers. We all want exotic options, but, giving the local wildlife what they are used to, and what they need to grow and flourish, is perhaps the best way to bring them in.
Another fantastic option, which will certainly make gardening easier, is letting part of your garden grow wild. Instead of well-manicured lawns and carefully preened plants, allow at least part of your outdoor space to grow naturally. This will encourage a more diverse ecosystem, offering wildlife a more natural home.
Other ways to bring in more wildlife include adding ponds and other water features and setting up bird feeders and insect houses.
Grow Your Own Food
Growing your own food is perhaps one of the most positive changes that you can make. It will save you money, and help reduce your use of packaging and the fuel needed to transport and grow mass-produced food. Homegrown food typically even tastes better. If you’ve got a large garden, you could set up a vegetable patch and grow everything from courgettes to potatoes. You could also plant fruit trees. Even if your space is much smaller you should be able to grow your own herbs, tomatoes, and small fruits like strawberries.
We’re all making a conscious effort to reduce waste in our homes and our day-to-day lives, but there’s a lot that you can do in the garden to support these efforts. Install a tank to collect rainwater, which can be used to water plants in the summer, to fill paddling pools, and even inside your house for cleaning instead of taking water from the tap.
You could collect fallen leaves to build a small animal shelter, and then use the eventual mulch as a fertiliser, and you can compost lawn cuttings and food peelings to feed plants later in the year with the addition of a small compost bin.
Creating a more environmentally friendly garden is a wonderful way to support your local ecosystem and do your bit for the planet, and it’s often a case of just being more aware of your habits and more thoughtful with your purchases. Why not make this summer the year that you get green outdoors?