It’s as simple as doing a little research before jumping in.
Houzz recently published these tips from Brad Adsit, a LEED-AP (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design—Accredited Professional) product development and engineering manager:
Repurpose and recycle: Use recycled and recyclable material for your decks, railings and other patio elements. Also, consider using reclaimed wood for garden beds, retaining walls, outdoor shelves and benches.
Conserve water: For example, instead of expansive lawns that require high water usage, landscape with drought-tolerant native plants. Also, use a “permeable hardscape” so that rainwater can seep through it and into the ground, rather than running off.
Choose durable products: The more durable, the less often materials need to be replaced. “It’s advantageous on a financial and an environmental level,” Adsit told Houzz. Consider corrosion and rust-resistant stainless steel and aluminum or tough composite materials and rot-resistant hardwoods.
Avoid chemicals: Choose products that don’t require harsh chemicals for upkeep. Some suggestions: powder-coated aluminum (it can be washed with mild soap and water); stainless steel; composite and vinyl finishes.
Buy from eco-friendly companies: Support companies that promote sustainability. Look for companies that use solar power, make products from recycled material, handle hazardous waste responsibly and reuse waste water.
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