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Millions of Americans have made the choice to “go green”. Perhaps you’ve even thought about switching the lighting in your home to CFLs or LEDs or installing energy efficient appliances and/or windows. But, have you ever thought about extending the idea of “going green” to your yard?
If you’re concerned about energy costs and finding sustainable solutions for your home and garden, then you might want to think about where all your landscaping materials are coming from. We all want lovely gardens with patios, pathways, terraces, fountains and privacy walls, but how and with what they’re made, can matter.
Here are some tips that can help you be environmentally conscious, while supporting your community:
Cut Down on Road Miles by Using Locally Sourced Materials
An important factor to think about is how much energy is consumed to make and transport the products you use to create your outdoor oasis. To really know the full environmental impact, you would have to know everything about the process from beginning to end which could take hours and hours of research.
Instead, save some time and choose materials from a local source that reflect the environment where you live. If your area is known for having certain types of materials close at hand, such as slate or limestone, you’ll not only have an attractive landscape that blends in well with the community, you’ll also be choosing the environmentally friendly option. If you’re unsure about what’s local to you, visit nurseries and building supply companies, their knowledgeable staffs can help you make appropriate choices.
Used Reclaimed Materials When Possible
Reclaimed and recycled materials are a great choice for any garden. Some reclaimed materials you may find in your area include house brick that can be used for patio surfaces, terracotta roof tiles that can make attractive path edging, and reclaimed walling stone or timber sleepers to construct beautiful retaining and boundary walls. Many local landscape companies will have access to these materials and can advise you on what’s available.
Local and Reclaimed Materials Add Character
Not only do reclaimed materials make your landscape more sustainable, it can add instant age to your landscape project. Bricks and reclaimed wood will look like they’ve already been on your property for many years, and they give your property a sense of history that a brand-new landscape just doesn’t have.
Local Sources Can Mean Better Service
When using locally-sourced materials, not only are you helping your local economy, but you have other advantages. You’ll also have a more dependable supply and lower transportation costs for you and the supplier. And if anything breaks, you’ll likely to get service or a replacement more quickly.
So if you’re looking to make your landscape both environmentally friendly and visually interesting, consider “going green” by “going local”.