5 Cool Eco-Friendly Upgrades for Any Garden

Eco-fitting is huge these days: you know, a complete overhaul of your garden, transforming it into an eco-friendly haven that’s sustainable planet-friendly.

The result can be anything from a simple “green” backyard play area to a complete wildlife habitat where you grow your own food.

But not everyone is ready to take on such a major project. While you may not be up for a complete eco-fitting, there are a few simple, easy things you can do to upgrade your garden in an eco-friendly way.

A High-End Rain Barrel

One decidedly un-green practice is watering your garden from the tap. It’s especially anti-green when you consider all the water that just washes away or soaks into the ground when it rains.

rain barrelRain barrel; pixnio.com

Solve this by setting up a rain collection system, a.k.a. a “rain barrel”. But don’t settle for just any old barrel- upgrade to a fancy, beautiful model that adds charm and style to your garden.

Solar Lighting

Who doesn’t love faerie lights? Placed around your garden like glowing dots in the night, they help create a warm, inviting space by lighting up your footpath or perimeter after the sun goes down.

And speaking of sun, the best way to light up the night and still be eco-friendly is to go solar. Solar lights soak up the rays all day, each one powering up for a whole night of service with no effect on your utility bill (except possibly to reduce it if you’re switching from an old-school electrical lighting system).

Recycled Plastic Decking

We all love natural materials, but some are used in a way that’s simply not sustainable. Take wooden decking, for example. Did you know that wood decking needs replacement in as little as 7 years? That means over a lifetime, you’re facing replacement cost about six times. That adds up financially as well as with your carbon footprint.

The answer here is to upgrade to recycled plastic decking. It never rots and lasts at least 5 times longer than treated wood. It doesn’t stain, either, and the only maintenance it requires is washing from time to time.

Plus, it’s made from things like recycled CD cases, old coat hangers, old buckets, and paint trays – discarded items that either end up in a landfill or in an incinerator, neither of which is good for the planet.

Native Plants

You’re already conserving water by using your beautiful new rain barrel. Why not upgrade the upgrade by converting your garden to an all-native environment with indigenous plants? These plants have evolved to survive and thrive in your local climate, so they’ll require less attention from you.

That means less fertilizer, less water, and less tending overall. They’re also more apt to resist pests, again requiring less attention from you. Consider native ornamental grasses, drought-tolerant shrubs, ground covers that control the weeds, and beautiful shade trees that provide balance and harmony to the overall design effect.

An Organic Garden

This last idea is not for the faint of heart. If you’ve ever had the inclination to grow your own food, or if you appreciate the virtues of eating organic veggies, consider carving out space for a little organic garden.

Tons of benefits here: growing your own food is about as cheap as it gets, and you won’t find tastier veggies than those you grow yourself. The green benefits are endless. Every inch of garden that’s growing food is potentially saving you from having to irrigate, fertilize, and maintain a manicured grass lawn.

Now that you’ve seen how easy it is to upgrade your garden with green principles in mind, which idea will you use first? From plastic decking to your own veggie plot, you’ll love whichever upgrade you choose.


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