1. Use a rain barrel. These handy containers are not hard to hook up – just attach one to your downspout – and you will have gallons of free rainwater to maintain your lawn. A rain barrel will fill up astonishingly fast.
2. Invest in a reel mower. Gasoline-powered lawn mowers are not only noisy; they pollute and, of course, they use fossil fuel. Reel mowers are powered by human muscle, so you’ll get a good workout and in turn a nice lawn in the process. Your neighbors will appreciate you more for the quiet, too. When you do mow, keep the grass clippings on the lawn. They act as a mulch, reducing the need for water.
3. Do more things manually. Americans are trying to get in shape by joining health clubs, but you can work off a lot of calories by raking, sweeping, and clipping by hand. And you will use much less fossil fuel and electricity that way.
4. Think beyond the grass. If you have to make a lot of artificial adjustments to grow grass, maybe grass isn’t the right lawn plant for you. Clover, moss, and other interesting plants – particularly native plants – make an excellent and beautiful lawn cover. Much of this will of course depend on your geographical settings. If you plant the right herbage for your area, it will be much easier to maintain, too. Investing in native plants is one way to cut down on invasive species that can dominate and destroy local ecosystems. Some people have even gone to having a native yard, which is a mirror image of your local native wildlands. It costs much less to maintain and is like having the wilderness in your own backyard!
5. Consider planting a garden, especially an informal, “English” garden that is meant to look a bit unkempt. You could also be even more eco-friendly and plant a vegetable garden where your lawn used to be.
6. Re-think the weed. Do you battle dandelions, ground ivy, clover, plantain, or other plants considered “weeds”? Take a moment and research some of these tenacious plants and you will probably be impressed with their usefulness.
Plantain, for example, makes a superior treatment for insect bites; dandelions have edible, nutritious greens and beautiful, fragrant flowers that can be used to make wine. Dandelion roots can even be roasted, ground, and drunk like coffee. Once you learn some of the uses for these plants, you may find yourself treasuring them rather than trying to eradicate them!
7. Use natural pesticides and herbicides if you feel the need to eradicate pests or certain weeds. These are generally available even in mainstream garden centers, or you can make your own.
Some of these helpful green eco-friendly lawn and yard tips may be for you, some may not. These are just some suggestions for you so you can have some more eco-friendly choices to help you care for your lawn.