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Want an Eco-Friendly Backyard? Try These 15 Green Ideas

Want to make your backyard more environmentally friendly? Give your backyard a green overhaul! From planting a native garden to installing solar lights, here are 15 green upgrades for your backyard!

Try Organic Mulch

Backyard Garden Area with Organic Mulch. Photo by Instagram user @hiddengemsoftheoutdoors
Photo via @hiddengemsoftheoutdoors

Consider landscaping with sustainable materials like organic mulch, which regulates soil temperature, holds moisture, and reduces weed growth, helping your plants thrive in your garden! Some common organic mulch types include wood chips, shredded bark, straw, leaves, and grass clippings.

Invite Pollinators into the Yard

Backyard Pollinator Garden. Photo by Instagram user @jblairbullard
Photo via @jblairbullard

Help the earth by creating a space for pollinators like bees, butterflies, moths, and other insects to feed! By growing a garden filled with flowers and plants native to your region, you can give bugs a reliable food source. Not only does this help reverse species decline, but it also supports crop and produce growth, decomposes organic waste, and controls the population of pests.

Plant a Native Garden

Native Plant Garden in a Backyard. Photo by Instagram user @greenjaylandscaping
Photo via @greenjaylandscaping

If you want a backyard makeover with eco-friendly updates, do some native landscaping! Planting greenery and flowers that are native to the region you live in will not only save you money but also eliminate the need for harsh fertilizers and pesticides. Plus, since they thrive in their own environment, you won’t have to use as much water for their upkeep.

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Grow Your Own Fruits & Vegetables

Backyard Vegetable Garden with Raised Planter Boxes. Photo by Instagram user @reshgala
Photo via @reshgala

Having a garden full of fresh fruit and veggies can be both a fun project and great for the earth! Growing your own produce helps reduce carbon emissions and the waste that comes with buying grocery store produce. Plus, you can avoid harsh fertilizers and chemicals when you grow your own food because they aren’t essential to use in home gardens.

Add a Compost Bin

Homemade Composting Bin in a Backyard. Photo by Instagram user @harrodhorticultural
Photo via @harrodhorticultural

Looking for ways to reduce your waste while also improving your backyard garden? Try composting! Compost bins enrich your soil, reduce the need for chemical fertilizers, and help eliminate methane emissions on top of other benefits. Decide whether you want to purchase one or build a DIY compost bin, then place your bin somewhere with plenty of shade and access to fresh air and water.

Utilize Xeriscaping

Backyard Xeriscaping with Native Plants. Photo by Instagram user @mr_agave
Photo via @mr_agave

Live somewhere that doesn’t get much rain? No worries! With xeriscaping, you can have a lush backyard while still being eco-friendly! Xeriscaping is a landscape design consisting of regional, drought-resistant plants, meaning you don’t have to use much water to have a beautiful and sustainable yard. This can help you save water and money, as well as eliminate the need for pesticides and fertilizers!

Opt for More Sustainable Hardscape

Backyard Filled with Sustainable Hardscaping. Photo by Instagram user @floresartscape
Photo via @floresartscape

Hardscaping can be an eco-friendly way to landscape your yard. Instead of having a large lawn to water and take care of, a hardscape can break up the space with walkways or replace grass altogether. This helps limit water runoff, prevent erosion, filter pollutants, and improve the health of soil and vegetation. A few sustainable materials to use for hardscaping include porous concrete, urbanite, and decomposed granite.

Go Grassless with a Synthetic Lawn

Backyard with Synthetic Turf for Grass. Photo by Instagram user @littleavonhouse
Photo via @littleavonhouse

Maintaining a grass lawn requires lots of water and energy. A greener alternative is artificial grass. While a synthetic lawn may be more expensive to install, you greatly reduce your water usage and eliminate the need for fertilizers and seed. Upkeep is also much easier because you don’t have to spend as much time and energy mowing or weeding. Plus, turf has a life expectancy of about 25 years!

Save Water with Smart Irrigation

At Home In-Ground Sprinkler System Running. Photo by Instagram user @nelsonlandscapingok
Photo via @nelsonlandscapingok

Whether you need to care for your grass, flowers, or other plants, think about installing a green sprinkler system to help you save water. Underground irrigation systems with efficient sprinkler heads are less expensive, and many come with weather forecasting features to avoid waste and over-watering. This can be especially beneficial in drier areas where water conservation is vital.

Harvest Rainwater with a Barrel

Wooden Barrel Designed to Be an Outdoor Rain Water Catcher. Photo by Instagram user @midwestlifeandstyle
Photo via @midwestlifeandstyle

One green backyard idea is to harvest rainwater with a rain barrel. This collects rain runoff from your roof and allows you to repurpose it for other uses like watering your lawn or plants. This is a great way to reduce your water usage while also adding a unique rustic look to your outdoor space.

Get Eco-Friendly Lawn Tools

Eco-Friendly Brand Yard Tools. Photo by Instagram user @electrawnllc
Photo via @electrawnllc

When it comes to caring for your backyard, there are great eco-friendly options for tools. Electric lawn mowers and leaf blowers are a good alternative because they require much less energy and don’t rely on gas to function. In fact, the typical mower releases 87 pounds of carbon dioxide, so investing in an electric mower can greatly reduce your carbon footprint. Similarly, push-powered mowers or battery-powered edgers and trimmers are other good eco-friendly alternatives to consider!

Upgrade Your Outdoor Lighting

Backyard Landscape Lighting at Night. Photo by Instagram user @lamp.lust
Photo via @lamp.lust

When it comes to exterior lighting for your backyard, solar lights are an excellent green option. Not only are they cost-efficient and easy to install, but they’re also more energy-efficient than traditional lights. And with options from path lighting to string lights, you can design your yard lighting exactly how you like!

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Install Solar Panels

Solar Panels Installed on a Home Roof. Photo by Instagram user @easternenergysolutions
Photo via @easternenergysolutions

Installing solar panels on the exterior of your home is an outdoor upgrade that can greatly reduce your energy bills. The panels soak up energy from the sun to help power your home and reduce dependency on fossil fuels like gas. Even when it’s cloudy, solar panels still draw energy and produce around 10-20% of the power generated on regular sunny days. Basically, installing solar panels is a great idea no matter where you live!

Buy Outdoor Furniture with the Planet in Mind

Backyard Sustainable Table and Chairs. Photo by Instagram user @the.heartfelt.homebody
Photo via @the.heartfelt.homebody

When it comes to choosing outdoor furniture, there are tons of ways to have a comfortable and cozy backyard that’s also eco-friendly! Search for furniture made of organic materials like bamboo, organic cotton, and sustainable woods. Other green options include outdoor seating made with recycled plastic or buying furniture secondhand!

Look into a Natural Swimming Pool

Backyard Natural Swimming Pool. Photo by Instagram user @phospat_lehvoss
Photo via @phospat_lehvoss

If you want to have a swimming pool in your backyard, build a sustainable natural pool! Natural pools don’t require the use of harsh chemicals like chlorine, making them better for you and the environment. Plus, they save you time and money because their yearly maintenance costs are much lower. Natural pools can also blend in with the rest of your yard’s landscaping, so you can design a beautiful eco-friendly oasis!

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Need somewhere to store yard equipment and tools? Extra Space Storage has self storage locations across the country that can help you get more space at home. Find a storage facility near you!

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Looking for sustainable backyard upgrades? From landscaping with native plants to using eco-friendly lawn tools, these 15 ideas can help protect the planet! via @extraspace

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