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Go Green at Home

    Transform your yard into an eco-friendly paradise.

    Homeowners across the country are looking for ways to make their properties more eco-friendly. During the summer months, turn your attention outdoors by choosing smart landscape projects that provide ample opportunity to make spaces look great and also support Mother Nature. Not sure where to start? Here are some simple ways to transform your yard into an eco-friendly paradise:

    Opt for native plants

    When you’re planning your landscape, consider perennial plants that are native to your area. These come back year after year with minimal effort from you because they thrive in your climate and are naturally resistant to local pests. Keep in mind plants that support local wildlife as well. For example, some plants produce berries that will attract various birds and others will produce flowers that are particularly attractive to bees.

    Water wisely

    Water is important to maintaining a healthy lawn and landscape, but how and when you water can make a big difference in supporting water conservation. Limit water evaporation and help get water deeply to roots by watering your lawn in the morning or early evening (before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m.). For flowers and other plants, consider installing a rain barrel system so you can use reclaimed water rather than pulling from the community water supply.

    Rent rather than buy

    Before you go out and buy all the tools and equipment you need for backyard projects, research what you can rent. Not only does this save you money, but it also limits energy consumption, pollution and waste associated with manufacturing, storing and maintaining new equipment. You can easily find a rental company near you on that provides a variety of equipment such as aerators, augers, jackhammers, pressure washers, chainsaws and more.

    Use salvaged materials

    Instead of visiting the local home improvement store or lumber yard to get materials for your backyard projects, consider if reclaimed materials are an option. For example, if you’re building a patio, recycled bricks or pavers will do the job just as well as new, they cost less and they impart unique character that you just can’t get from new materials. Look online to find suppliers of salvaged building materials in your area.

    Reduce chemical use

    Chemicals and fertilizers are often used to green lawns, but these can run off and pollute the local water supply. You can reduce or eliminate these unhealthy lawn care habits by looking for natural alternatives at stores and seeking out other proactive activities to support a healthy lawn. For example, instead of using chemical dethatchers, rent a dethatching machine and aerator to improve your lawn’s health naturally.

    Mulch strategically

    Adding mulch around landscaping not only looks great, but it’s also eco-friendly. Spread 1 to 2 inches of mulch around shrubs, trees, flowers and other landscape features to improve the outdoor aesthetics, plus you’ll help the soil retain moisture and regulate its temperature, all while limiting weed growth. You can purchase various kinds of mulch or rent a chipper to make your own mulch from wood in your yard. These six eco-friendly ideas for backyard improvement will help you green your spaces while saving money — and all are Mother Nature approved. To locate the rental store nearest you and rent the equipment you need to get your outdoor projects completed in an eco-friendly manner, use the Rental Store Quick Locator above. Related articles: 15 tips for DIY outdoor living spaces Unique DIY Home Improvements