Making your home more eco-friendly seems to be the order of the day at the moment, so much so that there are now plans for shipping containers to be converted into new homes in Sheffield!
Given this inspiration, here we share ways that you can quickly and easily improve the sustainability of your outdoor space.
1. Recycling waste material
Your home is full of materials, products and food stuff that are regularly wasted on a daily basis. Too many of us simply throw out the remains of food or old materials when these items could be recycled to help improve your garden. Old carboard boxes can be cut down and use for composting, insulation and to cover over weeds as supposed to purchasing expensive alternatives. Newspapers can be recycled to act as liners on plant pots or planters. Eggshells can even be adapted to help fledging seedlings grow without too much disturbance.
2. Upcycling old possessions
We spoke at great length in a recent blog post about ways that old furniture, household items and equipment can be “upcycled” to provide a new use in your garden. Rather than throwing out old items that are non-biodegradable and will require additional energy to reduce down, you could find new uses for them in your garden. Old colanders make for perfect hanging basket bases. Old broken plant pots can be used as rustic looking permanent markers. Even old pairs of shoes can be upcycled to create quirky flower holders or micro-planters. The less that goes into landfill or incineration, the better it will be for the environment.
3. Using sustainable materials
Thinking carefully about the furniture, fencing and decking that you buy is really important for eco-friendly homeowners. Many wood products, particularly cheap in cost, don’t come from sustainable forestry. Many composite decking products derive from ethically and sustainably managed wood sources. Other providers ensure that plastic comes from recycled bottle caps and ensures that you get all the benefits of strong plastics without the horrible environmental effects caused by its production (and destruction!).
4. Embracing solar power
Although the United Kingdom isn’t famous for its sunshine, we still have enough light to warrant solar energy in our gardens and homes. Instead of opting for wired lighting solutions or wired water features that use energy from the mains, why not invest in lights and features that are solar panelled instead? Not only are these cheaper to run to bring down your energy bill over time but they can be installed far easier than wired products which may require drilling, returfing and electrics work to get them connected.
5. Saving for a rainy day
A great way to reduce your water bills, improve your garden and be environmentally friendly is to create your own rain water store. Usually in the form of a barrel connected easily to you guttering, you can collect gallons of free rain water that can be reused for watering or cleaning your outdoor space. This is far more efficient and cost effective. Not to mention that rainwater is significantly better than tap water for the garden (the latter usually has chlorine and other substances to make it cleaner for consumption). Rainwater has a neutral pH level and encourages absorption of nutrients more efficiently than tap water.