Ironically enough, many homeowners do more harm than good when caring for their lawns. As a result, they’re actually growing their carbon footprint and negatively impacting their property. But there are also plenty of homeowners who are committed to eco-friendly lawn care solutions. Learn how you can fall into the latter category.
Four Ways to Encourage Eco-Friendly Lawn Care
Most people think about cost and simplicity when it comes to lawn care. They want the cheapest and quickest solution so they can get the job done and focus on “more important” things. But the fact of the matter is that lawn care is important. While cheap and quick are enticing, spend some time thinking about sustainability as well.
- Think Before You Crank
If you just crank up the old lawnmower and start cutting your grass without any rhyme or reason, chances are, you aren’t giving your lawn what it needs to thrive and truly be healthy.
“The schedule at which you mow and the height will have an impact on the quality of the turf,” Fischer Environmental notes. “The more leaf that is exposed, the more energy that can be transferred to the root system and this will make for stronger roots. Different factors like the type of grass and specific environmental conditions can help to determine the proper mowing schedule and height, so it is recommended that you consult with your lawn care professional on these matters.”
- Practice Smart Watering
Did you know that, in the summer, lawns account for roughly 40 to 60 percent of residential water usage? That’s a massive amount of water being wasted.
There are a number of things you can do to reduce your need for using so much water. We’ll call these “smart watering habits.” Consider a few:
- Always water early in the morning or in the evening after the sun has gone down. This allows more of the water to seep into your lawn, as opposed to evaporating in the hot air.
- If you’re using sprinklers, make sure you spend some time tinkering with their orientation. There’s no sense in sending half of your water into the street.
- Try mowing your lawn higher. The higher the blades are, the less water the root system needs to thrive.
- Making sure that the sprinklers are properly maintained is also important. For example, winterizing the system before the ground freezes ensures that no damage is done during the colder months.
- In addition, when the time comes to open the irrigation system again in the spring, it should be done in a manner that will not damage any of the components.
- Backflow testing and regular sprinkler repair and service are of the utmost importance, as they ensure that the irrigation system as a whole is functioning at its highest level, saving water and money in the process.
Simple little tricks like this can save you gallons of water per week, which adds up over the course of a year.
- Put Grass Clippings to Use
While many people believe that letting clippings decompose on your lawn causes a thatch buildup on the surface, this simply isn’t true.
“Instead of bagging up grass clippings and sending them to the landfill, invest in a mulching blade for your mower and leave the clippings on your lawn,” compost expert Beth Huxtra suggests. “As they decompose, they add valuable organic matter to the soil and about 2 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet each season, which means you have to spend less time and money on fertilizing.”
- Try Biopesticides
While you should avoid traditional insecticides (like dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, better known as DDT), which can be harmful to pets and people, there are other healthy solutions. Specifically, you should try biopesticides, which are made from natural occurring elements and actively work to control insect populations (rather than kill them).
How Are You Currently Doing?
If you aren’t currently doing a good job of being an eco-friendly steward of your property, don’t stress out about it. Now’s the perfect time to make a change and start adopting sustainable habits that allow you to cultivate healthier grass, save water, and return nutrients back into the ground.
Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage
While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.
If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.
Repair and Maintain Appliances
Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.
Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.
When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.
Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full
It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.
The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.
Recycle Water in Your Yard
Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.
You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.
Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants
Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.
Install Water-Saving Features
The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.
There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.
Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City
Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.
If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.
Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism
When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.
After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.
How was it started?
It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.
How to go about it?
So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.
If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.
What can be learned?
Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .