Ecology

5 Simple Ways to Enhance Your Eco Outdoor Space

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If you’re lucky enough to have an outdoor space larger than a fire escape in NYC, it’s time to prep your backyard for the warm-weather months.

Not only are eco outdoor spaces the perfect place for relaxing and entertaining, but cultivating your garden can also alleviate stress and anxiety. It will also provide an opportunity for you to slow down and reconnect with the natural world. Many of us work in offices throughout the week and it’s so important to spend quality time outside whenever possible.

Here are five, simple ways you can make your outdoor space as warm, inviting and eco-friendly as possible.

A wild and blooming English garden.
A wild and blooming English garden.

1) Go wild
Although the temptation might be to cultivate manicured lawns and neat flower beds, letting a patch of your garden grow spontaneously is actually very good for the environment. Wild flowers, plants and shrubs are havens for vital wildlife such as birds and insects, and bees in particular. Bees play an essential role in human health, but our increasing use of chemical-laden pesticides in gardens has put them at risk.

Try to resist the urge to trim and spray, and let nature take its course.

Growing your own veggies is healthy and super-rewarding
Growing your own veggies is healthy and super-rewarding

2) Grow your own veggies

There’s nothing quite so satisfying than tucking into a meal made with vegetables you have grown from seed. Not only do organic vegetables taste fantastic, but the process of growing and eating your own vegetables is incredibly environmentally friendly. Think about all the food miles you will save, not to mention the packaging. If you’re a novice, do seek some advice on what might be best for your soil, and start with something easy like potatoes or beans.

Spending time in the garden is good for body and mind
Spending time in the garden is good for body and mind

3) Embrace your green fingers
Frequent gardening is a wonderful way to keep fit and healthy. If you add up the time you spend in the garden compared to, for example, using machines in the gym, it’s easy to see how your garden can help reduce your carbon footprint. To make the most of your outdoor space, do some reading first – gardening guides and online tutorials will help you determine which areas to focus on, and what to plant when. Investing in an initial consultation with professional gardeners could also help you gain the confidence to do it alone. You could also contact Fort Worth garden and tree experts.

A classic wrought iron table and chairs will last for decades
A classic wrought iron table and chairs will last for decades

4) Make eco-friendly furniture choices
Once your garden is growing nicely, it’s time to invest in some accessories. Solar powered lights will add illumination and atmosphere, and are very cost effective. Spend some time shopping for eco-friendly garden furniture which is both stylish and comfortable. Oak is a fantastic, sustainable alternative to teak for tables, benches and chairs. If you’re looking for loungers, try and source materials that are a hundred percent natural (not synthetic), or are recycled. It might be a slightly more expensive option but the investment is well worth it and the product will last longer.

Composting is easier than you think!
Composting is easier than you think!

5) Get composting
A compost bin is the ideal way to reduce the amount of waste you send to landfill, and will make you feel a whole lot better in the process. Everything from vegetable peelings, to tea-bags, to egg shells can be chucked in. Once broken down, compost is an excellent natural addition which will enrich your soil.

Developing your garden into an eco-paradise won’t happen overnight; it requires hard work and commitment. It’s also not easy, which is why enlisting professional help and advice is always recommended, but the results are well worth the effort. By taking these five simple steps, you’ll be more than half way there!

Happy gardening!

 

Photo credits: Main daisies image by Norbert Rupp/Flickr; Veggies image by Charles Fred/Creative Commons license; Woman in Garden by Bruce Wang/Flickr; compost image by Kristy Hall/Flickr

This is a sponsored post. 

Lindsay has spent her career at the intersection of media and social change. In her role at Eco-Chick, Lindsay has established partnerships and campaigns with some of the world’s most-recognized companies committed to sustainability and CSR. She co-created the popular interview series “Heroines for the Planet” that features groundbreaking women who share courage and a deep passion for protecting people and the Earth. Lindsay is the Marketing and Sustainability Manager at Health-Ade Kombucha and previously served as Director of Communications at the social enterprise CBS EcoMedia. There she directed corporate advertising dollars to the nation’s most effective non-profits tackling urgent social issues in local communities and was awarded CBS Corporation’s prestigious Share-the-Vision award. She has written for Whole Living Magazine, Edible, Cottages & Gardens, From The Grapevine, EarthHour.org, Eco-Age.com, and for environmentalists Laura Turner Seydel and Susan Rockefeller. Lindsay holds a BS in Global Business Studies and Marketing from Manhattan College, and received the 2012 Honors Award at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.