After all the talk about transforming your house and yard in efforts to become more eco-friendly, the time has come for action. You walk into your local home improvement store and begin to mosey around the aisles. How can you tell which materials to buy amongst the hundreds of choices? Which will give you the most bang for your buck? And how can you tell if the materials you are buying won’t harm the environment?
Being ‘green’ is more about education. Some materials being sold can actually be detrimental to the plants or local wildlife. But we all have to start somewhere. The earth applauds you for beginning to make a change. Here are some tips along the way that will help your transition to becoming a more eco-friendly home.
Take steps to have a more eco-friendly pool
Your pool doesn’t have to significantly increase your eco foot print. There are ways to make your pool more sustainable. For example, use a solar pool cover rather than heating system to heat your pool. You can also save time and energy (yours and the earth’s!) by using a solar-powered pool cleaner like the Solar-Breeze NX. Replacing old equipment and practicing regular maintenance will also go a long way toward making your pool more eco-friendly.
Build a Vertical Garden
Do you have space on the outside wall of your house or shed? Use it. Build a vertical garden that you can use to house your spice garden or add some color to the outside decor. There are many ways you can create your new vertical garden, but using recycled pockets, hung up by metal grommets, are a great way to stay true to being eco-friendly. These pockets can last up to 20 years and are sold in packs of five, three, or one.
Use the Right Wood
When picking lumber, try to avoid any old growth timber and endangered tropical hardwoods. When I was a child my father always hated bamboo. Coming from a climate where the tree could flourish, my father has fond memories of trimming and re-trimming bamboo, which must have felt like an endless chore. What made bamboo a nuisance before, is now its biggest strength. Bamboo’s fast-growth capabilities make it a great alternative to conventional wood choices. You can have bamboo floors, cabinets or anything else that is made from wood.
Don’t Throw Away that Banana Peel
Your outside garden is looking great, but did you know that you are throwing away valuable fertilizer? Keep all plant waste such as old lettuce, banana peels, spoiled fruits, etc. Grab a Tupperware and fill it up for easy transportation. The compost is rich in nutrients that help plants’ roots, improve soil texture, and make the soil retain more water. You don’t need to go to the store and buy fancy, chemical-filled fertilizers when you can help plant growth as nature intended it.
Keep your garden safe for bees
Avoid pesticides and encourage the pollination of your garden by bees and butterflies. Make sure to grow plants that attract such wildlife like lilac. We are losing bees in very high numbers worldwide, so anything helps in this crisis. To put things in perspective, pollinators like bees and butterflies affect 35 percent of the world’s crop production. Businesses are even starting to call local beekeepers whenever there is a hive to relocate, not exterminate these helpful bugs.
Paul Denikin got into DIY home repair projects after his daughter was born with special needs. His initial efforts were all motivated by the desire to make his home more accessible for her. He learned everything he knows through trial and error and many helpful Youtube videos. He created DadKnowsDIY.com to share some of the great resources he’s come across and to offer home improvement project how-tos and other accessibility information.