There are many ways to reduce your home’s negative impact on the environment and these can be implemented anytime, whether you’re still designing, or if you have been there for a lifetime.
Your land has been sculpted by time and nature, which should be seen as an asset. Work with whatever nature has given you, such as plants and views, and look for alternatives to covering it with concrete or cutting deep into it.
Vegetation – especially native growth – is essential, while landscaping is a key component to making any home livable. Make an effort to preserve any existing native plants, and then work with a local gardening supply store to help you select plants that will grow best given your local climate and soil conditions, reducing the need for excessive watering. Seek out organic options for fertiliser (manure) and herbicide (vinegar or garlic sprays) to prevent any long term negative impact in your garden or nearby streams.
Whether or not you are in a position to store and recycle rainwater, any precipitation that is not soaked up by your lawn runs straight into the storm water system, picking up any oil, fertiliser, and pesticides that have accumulated in your yard or driveway, contaminating the water system and contributing towards erosion. By simply directing run-off from driveways and gutters toward your lawn, and providing enough depression for the grass to hold the rainwater a little longer, letting it filter naturally, you can reduce this negative environmental impact.
Remember, not all bugs are bad, and there are alternatives to poison for removing those that are. Nematodes, diatomaceous earth, companion planting and orange peel are just a few of the ways you can fight insects without chemicals – your local garden supply stores should be able to help you choose a product for your specific problem.