4 Eco-Friendly Landscaping Ideas for Your Lawn and Garden
Home gardens are a point of pride for many who pour hours into their weekend weeding, trimming, and perfecting their curb appeal. Plants in our lawn and gardens are essential to the ecosystem and offer significant benefits, from preventing land erosion to producing the oxygen we breathe.
Not all lawn and garden plants are equally supportive of our environment. Many gardens are decorated with invasive plant species or require excessive watering to thrive, and others are treated with chemicals that create harmful runoff and pollute our waterways.
A truly beautiful garden is one that's designed to keep waste to a minimum and benefit the local ecosystem. Sustainable gardens are easy to create and maintain, and totally customizable to your lifestyle and preferences. Here are some top tips for growing an eco-friendly garden.
Choose Native Plant Species
Native plants naturally grow in your geographic area and thrive in the local climate. They're ideal for producing food and shelter for local wildlife, they won't harm the local ecosystem, and they're often easier to care for than non-native plants.
You can learn more about the plants native to your location with the National Wildlife Federation's Native Plant Finder or by visiting a local nursery that specializes in native plants.
Design a Pollinator Garden
Pollinators are essential to our environment and food production. Bees, butterflies, and other pollinators have seen declining populations attributed to habitat loss, agrochemicals, and pests. Planting native wildflowers other pollinator-friendly flowers provides food for your pollinators. You can even customize your garden to attract the pollinators you enjoy most.
Skip Chemical Lawn Treatments
Chemical fertilizers, weed treatments, and pest control sprays may cause damage to the environment and your health. Many common lawn pesticides, in particular, have been linked to cancer, birth defects, neurotoxicity, and more health complications.
These treatments don't stay on your lawn, either. They've been detected in groundwater and may affect local water sources, fish and wildlife, and even drinking water. Focus on your soil's health and adequate watering, then look into natural or non-toxic treatments for your lawn concerns.
Host a Habitat
Your garden is a part of nature and is home to bugs, birds, and small mammals. You can have a beautiful garden overflowing with greenery that also serves as a healthy habitat for local wildlife. Provide access to water with a fountain, shrugs and grasses for shelter, and edible native plants for food to create a safe space for wildlife to thrive.
You can even have your habitat certified to place a sign in your garden habitat and enjoy access to National Wildlife Federation perks.
You don't have to sacrifice beauty to enjoy an eco-friendly yard. Native plants, informed and non-toxic lawn care practices, and knowledge of your local ecosystem go a long way in protecting the environment.