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Guest Post - The Eco-Friendly Backyard: How to Save a Little 'Green'

>> Wednesday, 8 December 2010

It is a pleasure when thinking individuals acknowledge my crusade and want to put in their two cents! I was contacted by Elizabeth Greene of - My Dog Age My Blog, for featuring a guest post, I agreed. Its a pleasure to introduce Joy Paley and her take on American Consumption patterns and her thoughts on Lawn maintenance in particular. I am sure you will love this post...:). Onto Joy

The post
There’s no place near the “normal” American home that doesn’t reek of conspicuous consumption, and the backyard is certainly no exception. As post-WWII suburbs sprawled across the nation, so did the idea that a happy home was one in which the front and back yards were covered in emerald green turf. Not only does keeping a carefully maintained lawn use up an incredible amount of water (and money!), it also keeps rainwater from making its way through the soil to groundwater and causes pesticides and fertilizers to flow into nearby streams and rivers. Here are a few tips to green up your backyard and save a little dough in the process.

1. Get Rid of the Lawn
What is the alternative to a cushiony green pillow extending from your doorstep to the curb? How about a garden of native shrubs, flowers, and trees? It’ll need to be watered and troubled over much less than a lawn, will allow water to percolate through the soil, and it will attract native wildlife.

2. Collect Rainwater
Having the sprinklers or the hose running all the time zaps money from your pocket and uses up precious resources. Consider putting barrels in your yard or under your gutters to catch rainwater to use on your plants, instead.

3. Mulch Those Plants
Even if you get rid of your water-sucking exotic plants and make the switch to native species, you can still preserve energy by mulching around what you do have. Mulching keeps the sun from sucking up water out of the soil.

4. Compost
Composting is a low-cost way to generate nutritious soil for your garden and cut down on the amount of household waste you send to a landfill. A tumbler or regular barrel is a great way to start. Check out this Cornell site for the basics.

5. Use Earth-Friendly Yard Products
Most people maintain their yards to actively enjoy them, by picnicking, letting their kids play outside, etc. But would you really want your kids playing on a lawn that had been cared for with toxic pesticides and fertilizers? Check out organic lawn care options that are safer and easier on mother nature.

6. Upgrade Your Mower
Some old gas lawnmowers emit an incredible amount of pollution. Switching to a push mower is best, as they use less energy than ride-alongs. If you can’t stand the idea of pushing a mower across your lawn, an electric ride-along is your next best bet.

source: Joy Paley
This eco-friendly "no mow" lawn made of native grasses and plants is more attractive than any suburban turf I've seen

About the author

Joy Paley is a science and technology writer based in Berkeley, California. Check out her musings as a guest blogger for My Dog Ate My Blog or as a writer for Online Schools.


Lavanya 8 December 2010 at 12:46  

Very simple post. Liked it very much. One other thing i could add. I save all the water i use to wash rice/lentils/veges and water some of my plants both indoor and outdoor.

Preethi Prabhu 8 December 2010 at 12:55  

Welcome Joy! This is a wonderful post. I dont have a backyard, but i would love to share this article with everyone who do. Thank you.

Iniyaal 8 December 2010 at 23:47  

Informative post. I love natural free growing lawns. They look natural, lush and comfortable than the trimmed orderly lawns of urban homes.

Divya Shankar 9 December 2010 at 00:02  

Good to know that your crusade is well acknowledged. Nice and simple post providing simple tips. I have something for you on my blog -
I am sure you will agree.

Sudha 9 December 2010 at 22:57  

I need to thank Joy and Elizabeth for being a part of Green crusader!

And thank you Lavanya, Preethi, S, Divya for being so supportive

العاب جميلة داخل al3abfun 13 August 2016 at 13:49  

amazing thank you for sharing it im so glad i found your post what i was lookng for fannilly found it thats alooot.

العاب بنات تلبيس gamesgirlscoat 10 September 2016 at 08:06  

Ilike this post thank you so much

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I Blog Cos I live

My weblog is my journey towards a greener living...I am not into any fad or being green for the sake of it. I feel very strongly about what I write.

My efforts continue - 24x7. I have tremendous support from my amma, my husband and my family who appreciate what I do and try to be a part of this crusade...

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