These tips will help you create a cool, eco-friendly outdoor space.

Outdoor living spaces are a good investment. Now is the time to start planning your outdoor space for next year, especially if you plan on putting your home on the market in the spring. A well-planned outdoor space can go a long way towards increasing the value of your home.

 

Whether you plan to build a completely new outdoor space or transform your current backyard into a comfortable oasis, why not create an outdoor space that is friendly to the environment? This will reduce your footprint on the environment, help you save money and reduce exposure to chemicals and toxins. Here are some of the best eco-friendly tips to help you beautify your outdoor area.
#1 Start With Green Materials
If you are considering adding a stone patio or walkway, consider using permeable concrete pavers or natural stone. Rubber paving stones are also a good option. These stones help divert waste from landfills and are available in a wide variety of shapes, textures and colors. For a wood deck, consider using reclaimed or recycled wood from other buildings. Check with a local lumber yard for recycled or reclaimed timber for your outdoor home project.
#2 Use Reclaimed Water
Consider setting up a rainwater harvesting system to use reclaimed water for your landscaping. An easy way to do this is to divert rain from usual runoff spots into a large aboveground container, such as a wine barrel. You can then use that water for your gardens and plants.
#3 Build an Eco-Friendly Playground
An eco-friendly playground is not only good for the environment, but it is good for the little ones too.
Researchers in England tested 50 playgrounds for lead and found that more than half or 26 of these playgrounds contained up to 40 times the recommended levels of lead. To avoid toxic playground materials, look for a set that is made of recycled plastic and sustainable wood. In addition, consider installing artificial turf as the surface. Artificial turf is not only eco-friendly but it also provides a soft, cushioned play surface, which is important in preventing injuries.
#4 Landscape with Native Plants
Most homeowners choose plants for their beauty rather than sustainability. The problem with this is that is slowly yet significantly decreasing biodiversity. Exotic plants can often upset the balance of animals and wild plants in your region. Native species are slowly disappearing from neighborhoods. Native plants are ones that are meant to grow in your environment. Choosing plants that are native to your area will help make your yard easier to maintain as they are more likely to thrive in your particular area. Native plants also require less water. In addition, they create an inviting space for wildlife and birds.

 

#5 Consider Installing Artificial Turf

 

Artificial grass for playgrounds is a low-maintenance and beautiful alternative to natural turf. A traditional turf lawn typically requires a variety of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers to maintain. A synthetic lawn eliminates the need for these harsh chemicals, keeping them out of your yard and the environment. In addition, artificial grass lawns do not require water to stay green, lush, and beautiful all year. With artificial turf, homeowners also spend less time and energy on maintaining their lawns.
#6 Set up a Composting Bin
Composting is an easy way to have a positive impact on the Earth. Composting is a natural method of recycling. Food and yard waste are broken down and become food for plants. The benefits of composting are numerous. It helps plants absorb nutrients in your soil, reduces waste and is a natural fertilizer for your lawn or garden. You can buy inexpensive compost bins at most home improvement stores.
#7 Install Solar Lights
Solar lights offer many benefits. They are cheap, energy-efficient, easy-to-install and maintenance free. They can also help increase the safety and security of your outdoor spaces. You can use solar lighting to cast a soft glow on flowerbeds, provide ambient lighting for outdoor parties and brighten up dark pathways.
#8 Select Eco-Friendly Outdoor Furniture
You can help save the planet while you relax on your back porch by choosing eco-friendly furniture for your outdoor space. Look for furniture that is built with sustainable material, such as reclaimed wood or recycled plastic. Eucalyptus hardwood, teak and acacia hardwood are all environmentally-friendly low-maintenance options for patio furniture. In addition, they are resistant to fungi, mildew, mold, mildew and termites, making them long-lasting for years to come. Polywood makes lawn furniture from recycled material that is made from post-consumer waste products like detergent and milk bottles. Another option is to refinish an old outdoor patio set. Search consignment and thrift stores for sturdy outdoor furniture. These items can be easily refinished to look gorgeous again. In addition, they add character and uniqueness to your outdoor space.
#9 Use Natural Products for Your Outdoor Décor
Stay away from those bright green lawn ornaments and huge lawn inflatables. Instead, choose natural products, such as a small pond, potted plants or a birdbath for your lawn decor. These provide your outdoor space with beauty and also provide shelter, food and water for small animals and birds. Choose wind chimes and other ornaments that are made from recycled glass, metal or wood. Natural wreaths made of lavender, magnolia, cedar, safflower herb or succulents are great options for your door.
#10 Choose Eco-Friendly Fabrics
Eco-friendly materials are a great option for outdoor cushions, umbrella shades and rugs. Choose rugs made from bamboo, sisal and jute. Look for wicker that is hand woven and made of non-toxic recyclable resin. Doormats made from coir are also available. Coir is made from coconut husks and is an exceptionally sustainable material that is great for doormats because of its durability.