A Greener Backyard
Editor’s Note: Today’s post is from Kristine Munroe-Mahoney. Kristine is the Community Manager at KeenForGreen.com. She is passionate about going green along with her son, Isaac, and her husband, Matt. She lives outside of Boston.
You can’t beat having a nice backyard, especially in the summer. Unfortunately, yards can often be very bad for the environment – between water consumption, gardening chemicals, and cheap plastic patio furniture, even green families might find that they can use a few tips to make their yard a little more environmentally friendly.
Luckily, there are some tips to help. Most are easy and will save you money, too!
- Consider making the grassy area of your yard smaller. Lawns use a lot of water and mowers use a lot of energy. Instead, plant native flowers and edible plants.
- Look for used backyard supplies. You can find used patio sets on Craigslist and Freecycle, and most of my son’s backyard toys came from garage sales and consignment shops. If you want new patio furniture, there are some nice looking eco-friendly patio furniture options.
- Have a kiddie pool? Reuse that water to water your garden and follow other simple water conservation tips.
- Plant things that help repel bugs. Basil can help repel mosquitoes and you can make pesto! Yum!
- Hang a clothesline or put out some drying racks. While you’re spending time in the backyard, especially if you’re watching small kids play, you might as well hang up your laundry to dry and save energy instead of using the dryer.
- Compost, compost, compost! Compost as much as you can and use it in your garden.
- Use mulch. It helps keep your garden moist, looks great, and smells good, too.
- Avoid the use of pesticides, and learn about creative ways to kill bugs and weeds. For instance, did you know that beer can kill slugs, and vinegar can kill weeds? Try it!
- Be mindful of sprinklers on timers. Make sure your sprinkler isn’t on during a rainstorm!
- Upcycle! Different things can make unique planters. For instance, our old charcoal barbecue is now a planter, and when our neighbor’s son outgrew his little turtle sandbox, it made a cute little garden!
These tips are really easy, and they’ll save you money (I love that combo!). Enjoy your summer, enjoy your backyard, and remember to stay Keen and Green.
Do you have any backyard tips?
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