Building A Green Outdoor Living Area

Building A Green Outdoor Living Area

When developing an outdoor living space, it can be easy to underestimate the long term impact that it can have on the environment.

For example, maintaining a new garden landscape can consume significant levels of water and pesticides because many lawn care contractors use machines and chemicals that aren’t always the greenest products available on the market. As with building any part of a home, construction material choices should be made with an eye for the best available green option. The key to creating an outdoor living space that’s friendlier to the environment is to scrutinize your options and carefully plan.

Energy Efficient Lighting
Outdoor living spaces have several advantages over indoor areas when it comes to the potential for increased energy efficiency. A well-planned outdoor location should maximize the natural light allowing so that a few well-placed solar lights are all that’s necessary to keep an outdoor living area properly lit well into the night. The more time you and your family and friends spent in your new outdoor oasis, the less energy you’ll consume indoors with lighting, heating, and cooling your home.

Better Building Choices
Every construction project changes the environment, both on your property and afar wherever the materials are extracted, processed, and stored, but there are ways to reduce the impact that setting up an outdoor living space might have. Any time a builder proposes a job, it’s a good idea to discuss the amount of recycled materials being used along with the source and processing techniques involved.. Seek to learn if any unwanted chemicals are ingrained in them, especially when using treated woods, paints, stains or varnishes. Favor products labeled as sources from property green managed and sustainable source.

Land Use
How a property is being used often has surprising consequences for the surrounding environment. Every drop of rainwater that leaves the property has to go somewhere, and projects that control runoff can reduce the amount of pollution that space releases downstream. Properly installed retaining walls and irrigation and drainage systems can help reduce the harm caused by an outdoor living space. Permeable surfaces are best for maintaining the local water table.

Reduced Water Consumption
Keeping an outdoor living area looking beautiful requires having a surrounding yard that is in good condition. It can be difficult, especially in dry climates, to maintain a lovely yard without the benefit of sprinkler systems and landscaping. The trick is to make choices that are appropriate to the region’s climate.

It’s not eco-friendly to have a lush and verdant outdoor living space that has high water demands in a part of the world where evaporation is a constant problem. Newer landscaping techniques (known as xeriscpaing), emphasize hardier plant choices and smaller exposed surface areas which keeps water consumption to a reasonable level.

No one wants a beautiful outdoor living area ruined by blighted plants and dead grass, but it’s important to explore green landscaping options. If you hire a landscaper, discuss the chemicals being used to do the job. If you handle the yard work yourself, take the time to check what’s going into all of those fertilizers and pesticides. A number of quality eco-friendly products have arrived on the market in the last decade, so it’s easy to use the safest landscaping methods available.

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About the author

Jane Blanchard

Jane is a contributing writer for Green Blizzard focusing on the challenges of building and remodeling in a green way. Based in Austin, Jane writes for where you come to get inspired, see what’s possible, and connect with a professional who will make your dream home a reality.