10 green living tips

JANUARY 23, 2018

Being a friend to the environment doesn't have to be difficult. Here are ten easy was to be greener.

1. Install motion sensors

Switching to motion-sensor lights that illuminate in response to movement can reduce outdoor energy expenses by as much as 30%, compared to leaving the lights on at night.

2. Sweep driveways, patios and walkways – with a broom

Don’t waste water washing dirt and debris off these areas – a broom is just as efficient and doesn’t waste water.

3. Apply natural fertilizers

All-natural fertilizers reduce the environmental impact, making them worth the additional cost.

4. Use solar lights

To illuminate a garden, flag, or other focal point in the yard, use solar-powered lights that charge all day and run on solar energy to provide light at night, reducing the need for additional electricity.

5. Plant trees

Planting a tree does more than improve the aesthetic appeal of a neighbourhood. It also cleans the air by absorbing carbon dioxide. Local nurseries can help homeowners find trees for any space, and many cities offer rebate incentives for purchasing and planting trees.

6. Mix up what you plant

Planting one type of plant in your garden or landscaping may draw pests that are attracted to its offerings. But if you plant a variety, this may push pests to go elsewhere.

7. Leave grass clipping where they lay

Raking up grass clippings denies the lawn an important natural fertilizer. As grass clippings decompose, their nutrients go back into the soil. Leaving the grass clippings to fertilize the lawn also prevents them from being added to the waste at a landfill site.

8. Conserve water in your plantings

To reduce the amount of water spent on fresh plantings, plant smart. Start by planting native species that are used to the amount of rain your area typically receives. This will help to prevent additional required watering. Apply composite to the soil to retain moisture as well.

9. Avoid pressure-treated wood

Pressure-treated wood, though a cheaper option, is bad for the environment. The chemicals that ‘treat’ the wood will slowly enter the atmosphere as the structure ages, harming the environment as well as those who breathe in the chemicals. Untreated wood options may be slightly more expensive, but the health and environmental benefits outweigh the cost.

10. Don’t water at mid-day

Homeowners who must water their grass should avoid doing so during the sun’s peak hours as the heat will burn the water off before it has a chance to nourish the lawn. Instead, water in the early morning or evening when the sun is not at its height. This will reduce water waste and nourish the grass as well.