How to make your yard more environmentally friendly

Published on Wed, Aug 27, 2014
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It’s easy to make your home more eco-friendly, and your yard is a great place to start. This season, take steps to reduce your home’s impact on the local environment by giving your outdoor spaces an earth-friendly makeover.

Limit yard waste

When the leaves fall from the trees, you may be dealing with extra bundles of yard waste. Handle the debris properly – never throw your leaves and trimmings out with the garbage. Instead, try composting what you can at home or bagging the waste to use as mulch on an as-needed basis.

If your community has special pick-up days for yard waste, take advantage of those. Additionally, you can leave some 
clippings on the lawn to act as an organic fertilizer and provide the soil with nutrients.

Be bird-friendly

An eco-friendly yard will contain plenty of vegetation that provides cover and food for such wildlife as birds. Unfortunately your home itself can present a threat to their safety. Flying into windows kills millions of wild birds annually.

You can protect birds from this fate by applying decals to your windows that contain a component that reflects ultraviolet sunlight. Try placing UV-reflective decals every few feet on your glass and applying a UV liquid in the remaining areas. This will create a visual barrier that only birds can see and that helps them avoid striking glass.

Because the UV reflectivity may fade over time based on exposure, replace the decals every six to nine months and reapply the liquid every three months. For more application tips and information about bird safety, visit

Be flexible

The mark of a beautiful, eco-friendly yard is not necessarily a conventional lawn. Fuel, water and a lot of time are necessary to maintain green grass. In at least some parts of your property, consider alternative ground cover that takes less energy to maintain. Ornamental grasses, shrubs, thyme and other colorful, low-maintenance plants that don’t grow very tall can make for a sustainable alternative that’s just as visually appealing as grass.

You may already be taking steps inside your home to be more planet-friendly, such as recycling, composting food scraps, using LED bulbs and turning off appliances when they aren’t in use. Now it’s time to take your greener living campaign to your home’s outdoor spaces by protecting wildlife and tweaking the way you maintain your lawn.

(Story courtesy of StatePoint)