5 steps to create an eco-friendly outdoor space
So you’re building a house, yay. Or maybe you are considering refreshing your outdoor space. Also yay. Whatever your starting point there are many concepts to consider implementing to optimise your landscape to create an eco-friendly outdoor space. Let’s dive in.
Minimise your carbon footprint with these 5 do-able steps:
Have food-producing plants
Simple, easy, effective. There is a bounty of reasons why you should consider growing your own food. First of all, by growing your own food you are taking control of what goes into your body and what comes out of your pocket! Having food-producing plants such as fruit trees or a veggie patch in your own backyard means that you can harvest and consume your food when it is at it’s PRIME. It lessens your environmental impact because your food is not being shipped from one destination to the next, to the next. It’s as accessible as it gets! Generally, it is more cost-effective to grow and manage your own crops and it gives you more control over when and how you spend your money that goes into your food. Growing and tending to your own foods can also deepen your connection and appreciation of the natural world. All that time outside helps keep you fit and healthy, both physically and mentally.
Plant native plants that attract Bees and Birds
In case you hadn’t heard, we as Humans need Bees to continue to survive. If the Bees disappear, so do we. Bees are hardworking little pollinators and play a vital role in the natural agriculture of our world. Bees fertilize plants, resulting in the formation of seeds and the fruit surrounding seeds. Humans and other species rely on pollinators to produce nuts, fruits, and plants that are essential components of a healthy diet. A few ideas to get you started; Kereru (our avian pollinator) are drawn to Flax, Kowhai, and Fuschia. Bees thrive on Honeysuckle, Calendula, and Geraniums. It’s always best to plant native plants, so before you get out in the yard make sure you do your research and speak to an expert if needed. Try speaking to your local plant, they have a wealth of knowledge just waiting to be shared with you.
Implement permeable paving to reduce stormwater loads
When your outdoor space has pavers laid that are tightly sealed and packed flush up against one another, water has nowhere to escape. This can lead to pooling and even flash flooding in certain areas of the country. Rainfall needs an escape route, and a natural pathway to either; the stormwater drains, or ideally directly back into the ground. Superhome Movement suggests implementing permeable pavers and appropriate planting to reduce stormwater loads. There is a range of pavers created specifically for this. They are laid almost exactly like a normal paver, with a bit more forethought involved, which includes having appropriate materials beneath to help the absorption of water. Some stone pavers are more porous than others and are therefore slightly more effective. Permeable pavers allow rainwater to flow down beneath the pavers and be partially absorbed by the base beneath. This transfer of water actually helps maintain the health and stability of the soil below.
Consider Xeriscaping and Irrigation
In short, Xeriscaping is the process of landscaping and gardening that reduces the need for excessive irrigation. A simple form of xeriscaping is to group plants together that require the same amount of water to simplify watering and/or irrigation. Irrigation is the timed and planned methods of watering plants at required intervals. Meaning no water is wasted, and every plant is getting exactly what they need to thrive. Some people may opt to install sprinklers in their gardens to save themselves the time and hassle of dragging the hose around the yard multiple times a day. Other people prefer the hands-on method, and relish spending quality time maintaining their garden and soaking in all that vitamin D. Find what works for you and your lifestyle.
Get a green roof
Now if you have yet to break ground and are still in the design and planning phase of a build this is when you would ideally mention to your designer that you are considering implementing a green roof. Yes, of course, green roofing can be added to some existing structures. But like most things, it’s easier to do it ‘right’ the first time around. A green roof can help reduce your energy bills, help provide insulation and minimise water runoff. Having a roof covered in lush vegetation and greenery will help increase the value of your property, help wildlife flourish, reduce noise pollution, AND give you the best sunbathing spot on the block!
Are those thumbs turning green? Then give us the thumbs up! And hit us up with the best change you have made to improve your outdoor spaces.