Having an outdoor space doesn’t automatically make it green. So, from the building materials you use to how you deal with potential pests, there’s no better time than the height of summer — the season for lounging and hosting — to reconsider how eco-friendly your patio is. Remember, while we often focus on making responsible choices indoors, our outdoor retreats also offer great opportunities for sustainable living. So, take advantage of these practical and creative tips to transform your backyard into an even greener, eco-friendly oasis. Here’s how to have a more sustainable patio for your own garden or outdoor space:
Prioritize sustainable materials
If you’re renovating your patio to be more eco-friendly, choose sustainable, durable materials. Consider reclaimed wood, bamboo, or recycled plastic for decking and furniture. These materials reduce the demand for new resources and provide an aesthetic appeal to your patio. If you source materials close to your area, you minimize your carbon footprint and support a more sustainable community.
Consider upcycled or repurposed decor
Consider upcycling or repurposing old items instead of buying new patio furniture and accessories. Check your local outline marketplaces, visit garage sales, or venture to your local thrift store to scour for patio furniture.
You can also repurpose easily accessible items like crates and pallets, giving them new life as outdoor seating and tables. Repurpose crates as shelving units or storage solutions. You can reduce waste and add a unique touch to your patio by getting creative!
Use solar energy
Integrate solar power into your patio design by installing solar panels or using solar-powered outdoor lighting. This reduces your reliance on non-renewable energy sources and saves on electricity bills. Solar-powered water features and solar-powered charging stations for electronic devices are also great additions to creating an eco-friendly patio.
Look for atmospheric string lights to liven up your patio in the evenings or simple in-ground spotlights for added visibility at night. These both have solar-powered alternatives to make your patio eco-friendlier.
Take advantage of rainwater
Collecting rainwater is an excellent way to conserve water and nurture your plants without relying on the municipal supply. Simply set up rain barrels or a larger rainwater harvesting system to capture rainwater from your patio roof. You can then use it for watering plants, cleaning, or even as a natural habitat for birds and insects. This is one of the best ways to be more sustainable as you’ll easily be conserving water, which is vital — particularly if you live in a drought-affected area.
Incorporate native or drought-tolerant plants
Choose native plants for your patio garden as they are well-suited to the local climate, require less water, and support local ecosystems. Otherwise, opt for drought-tolerant plants, which can thrive with minimal moisture.
If your patio or porch is small, you can incorporate vertical gardens or hanging planters to maximize greenery in small spaces and provide shade and cooling effects. This is a great way to add more atmosphere to your patio!
Add a composter
Keep those plants looking their best by adding compost to their soil. You can get compost for free by adding a small compost bin or worm composter to convert organic waste into nutrient-rich soil. Simply save such kitchen scraps as eggshells and coffee grounds and put them in the composter every evening. Composting reduces waste and provides natural fertilizers for your patio garden, making it an amazing way to have an eco-friendly patio.
Be eco-friendly about pest control
While maintaining your patio garden, avoid chemical pesticides and herbicides that harm beneficial insects and wildlife. Instead, embrace natural alternatives like companion planting, which involves planting specific flowers and herbs to repel pests or attract beneficial insects. You can also create a welcoming environment for birds by installing bird feeders and birdhouses, which can help control pests naturally. Find out more tips for having a greener garden here.
Opt for energy-efficient appliances
If you plan to include appliances on your patio, such as grills or refrigerators, choose energy-efficient models that minimize energy consumption. Look for appliances with Energy Star ratings, indicating they meet or exceed energy efficiency standards. These appliances will not only save energy but also reduce your utility bills. Consider using gas or electric grills as eco-friendly alternatives to charcoal. And when the cookout or party is over, extend your sustainable style to the cleanup, washing tablecloths and napkins with our ultra-concentrated, plant-based eco-friendly laundry sheets.
Now remember to show off your hard work! Share your eco-friendly patio journey with friends, family, and neighbors to inspire them to renovate theirs. Positive encouragement is a great way to get others interested, creating a ripple effect that promotes sustainable living throughout your community. So, the next time you host a gathering on your patio, and someone compliments your décor, highlight some of your sustainable endeavors.
Creating a greener and more sustainable patio is a rewarding journey — giving your space a stylish makeover while lowering your carbon footprint. Let your patio serve as a source of inspiration for others and a reminder that small changes can make a significant difference in building a sustainable future.