Did anyone else think that winter was never going to end!? Now that the clocks have “sprung ahead”, we officially have the warmer months on our mind here at The Eco Floor Store!
When you think of summer, what are the first activities you think of? Hiking, mountain biking and golfing all make for fantastic weekend activities but sometimes the most fun can be had right in your own backyard! Whether you are hosting a family BBQ or plan on lounging by the pool with neighbourhood friends, a beautiful backyard and patio setup is vital for a full summer of fun at home. If you are planning on giving your backyard a facelift this summer, consider making it an eco-friendly space! Here are four suggestions that will turn your yard into a beautiful, environmentally conscious oasis.
Invite the Bees Into Your Backyard
When you go to the grocery store to stock your fridge full of delicious fruits and vegetables, did you know that the majority of those tasty treats were made possible by bees? In fact, it is estimated that about one-third of all food that we eat is only made possible because of the work of bees.
Honey bees are master pollinators and help all kinds of fruit bearing trees and vegetables turn blossoms into edible offerings such as apples, broccoli, cherries and even almonds! Bees also help pollinate crops such as clover and beans which are vital for livestock and healthy alternatives such tofu. Unfortunately, the number of bees around the world has drastically decreased over the past century with most bee farmers reporting annual hive deaths of around 30%. Why are they dying? One of the main causes appears to be the mass adoption of pesticides.
What can you do to help?
-Don’t use pesticides or fertilizers in your yard that are not environmentally friendly
-Plant a wide variety of flowers and plants with staggered blooming times to provide ample pollen for bees, especially in the fall (native plants are optimal)
-Avoid planting large lawns. A typically lawn provides little shelter or food for the majority of insects ( also requires regular, excessive watering!)
Eco-Friendly Under the Feet
If you want the perfect backyard, you will need to take care of your guest’s feet! Patios and walkways keep your entertainment areas clean and safe! If your backyard requires outdoor flooring, you may want to consider an eco-friendly option such as the Dinoflex line which we carry at The Eco Floor Store.
Dinoflex is a style of rubberized flooring that is constructed from recycled rubber tires. Due to the fact that Dinoflex utilizes recycled materials, they have a smaller carbon footprint than other flooring companies as they do not have to manufacture new materials. Dinoflex’s process also helps to keep landfills clear of the thousands of tires that they use to produce their flooring and tiles.
By using eco-friendly building materials such as Dinoflex will give you a patio or collection of pathways that are slip-resistant, ergonomically friendly, noise reducing and “green”! Visit us at The Eco Floor Store to explore the different colour options Dinoflex offers and ask us about how this style of outdoor flooring can help you qualify for LEED credits!
Plant with the Help of Local Greenery
If you want to keep your backyard as eco-friendly as possible, shy away from tropical plants. Just like purchasing produce, it is best to keep all of your greenery local. If you are introducing non-indigenous flowers or plants into your backyard, you will likely have to water them much more than the local flora. An additional benefit to incorporating local plants in your eco-friendly backyard is that you are taking a further step to support and feed the local animals and bees!
Make it Rain and Conserve Water
One of qualities of an amazing backyard oasis is lush and vibrant plant life. If you want your garden and lawn to stay healthy through the hot summer months, it will require some watering here and there. Watering your lawn from your local water supply could be considered wasteful and as a homeowner, it can also be costly. A fantastic eco-friendly alternative is to create a rain garden or utilize a rainwater collector.
Collecting and utilizing rainwater is a wonderful way to make your home a little more “green”, especially if you live in the Vancouver area- we know all about rainy days here!
Are you excited to get your home and yard ready for summer yet!?
Come visit us at The Eco Floor Store in Surrey, BC and discover the beauty of eco-friendly building products and flooring!