Charlie Glahe WIN Broomfield

Getting a greener yard


Making changes to your home and daily routine to promote a greener lifestyle impacts the environment in a positive way. There are a number of benefits to transitioning into a more ecologically conscious lifestyle. For example, you can save a great deal of money on energy bills. Consider conducting a property inspection and figuring out how you can make changes to decrease your carbon footprint and promote a healthier environment for everyone.

Recycling and using energy-efficient appliances are great ways to incorporate eco-friendly habits into your life, but your lawn is another feature of your home that can be a little greener, and not just in physical color.

Composting to get a greener yard
You can use some of the garbage you would otherwise send to a landfill to fertilize your soil. Fruits, vegetables, grass clippings, fireplace ashes, coffee grounds and filters, egg shells and newspaper can all be used to enrich and enhance your landscaping while promoting a more eco-friendly habit.

To compost, Earth Easy recommends keeping your compost pile directly on the bare earth. Worms and other organisms will have an easier time accessing the compost and accelerating the beneficial properties of a compost pile.

When putting materials on your compost pile, layer them based on how dry or wet the items are. For example, group food scraps, coffee grounds and tea bags together for a wet layer and fireplace ashes, newspaper and leaves for a dry layer.

Also try to incorporate both nitrogen- and carbon-rich compost ingredients into your compost pile. Branches, dried leaves and sawdust can provide a good source of carbon for your pile while manure and green lawn clippings boost the nitrogen in your mixture.

Turn your pile every third week to aerate the contents. This exposes all of the material to oxygen, which helps accelerate the composting process.

Knowing how to responsibly water your vegetation
Conserving water is another way you can ensure your lawn maintenance is more eco-friendly. Better Homes and Gardens noted that bringing organic mulch to your landscaping and garden beds can help you better retain the moisture for your plants, bushes and flowers.

Another way to limit water use is to collect rainwater using rain barrels. This is a great way to water your lawn responsibly and it also saves you money.

Designing your landscaping to help your home go green
If you are currently landscaping your property, organize your tree planting to shade your home and help cut down on the energy used to cool your house. noted that by properly planning where to place trees, you can reduce total solar head gain and decrease the expenses associated with air conditioning. Planning your landscaping with shade in mind can save you 15-50 percent on your cooling bill.

Neighborhoods with more trees can be up to 6 degrees cooler than areas that do not have trees. Consider discussing a tree-planting initiative with your neighbors to help improve your entire community.

Cutting down on fuel emissions
Keeping a well manicured yard often means breaking out the lawn mower, leaf blower or even chain saw. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency noted that emissions from this equipment account for a great deal of air pollution. In some instances, they can contribute more contaminants into the air than those of a vehicle.

Consider investing in newer equipment, as older technology is not as environmentally conscious. If you can find a mower powered by an electrical engine, that can help cut down on emissions. However, use of electricity can also contribute to pollution.

Mowing less frequently saves energy and time and keeps the air healthier. Consider developing a routine for yourself and try to keep your fuel use down.

Combating water pollution
Stormwater runoff is the water that is not absorbed by the ground. It can collect chemicals and other harmful substances as it runs across land. Consider designing your landscape in a way that helps combat unsafe stormwater runoff. A natural landscape can cut down on the volume of contaminated water flowing through your community by reducing erosion.

In addition, ensure that any pesticides or fertilizers are properly disposed of to combat stormwater runoff.