If you are overhauling your backyard landscaping design and enjoy living an eco-friendly lifestyle, then you should be aware of the many ways you can keep your yard hardscape design as environmentally friendly as possible. When you keep the environment in mind when choosing your hardscape elements, you do not have to sacrifice curb appeal and practicality during the hardscape design process.
Read on to learn three tips for environmentally friendly hardscape designs.
1. Install Permeable Walkway and Patio Materials
When adding walkways, patios, and other types of pavement to your hardscaping design, you should choose porous or permeable paving materials, such as paving stones and even wood, over less porous materials. Pavement made of these materials is considered more environmentally friendly than pavement with low water permeability.
When rainwater hits impermeable pavement types, the pavement does not absorb it, but instead repels it, often sending it on a path into municipal storm drains. As water runs towards these drains, it can collect environmental pollutants that then must be removed with municipal water supply filters and disinfectants. This process is costly, time-consuming, and hard on the environment.
On the other hand, when rainwater hits permeable pavement materials, the water simply flows through the material and back into the ground. The soil naturally removes many contaminants from this water that then reenters the groundwater supply.
2. Consider Decorative Rainwater Harvesting Barrels
While rainwater harvesting is now legal in all 50 states (some states do have restrictions on how much water you can harvest and how it can be used), many people still do not take advantage of this useful way to both reduce water expenses and increase the greenness of their lifestyle.
For this reason, you should consider adding several decorative rainwater harvesting barrels to your environmentally friendly hardscaping design. While people use harvested rainwater to perform a variety of water-based tasks, the most common use for this water is lawn irrigation — the rain that falls into these barrels can be used to irrigate your lawn during a week when rain is less plentiful.
Wooden rainwater harvesting barrels can be very attractive, especially when they have unique, creative designs painted on their exteriors.
3. Choose Recyclable and Sustainable Materials When Possible
Another way to ensure your hardscaping is as environmentally friendly as possible is to always use recyclable or sustainable materials in the creation of your design elements when possible. Environmental experts advise homeowners to consider the use of sustainable wood, gravel, flagstone, pavers, brick, and urbanite in their home hardscaping projects. These materials have less of a negative environmental impact than some other hardscaping materials.
If you are revamping your backyard landscaping, then keep these three tips for environmentally friendly hardscape design in mind when making your design plans. For more information, contact a hardscape designer near you.