10 Surprising Tips For Sustainable Landscaping That Will Save You Money And The Planet

Landscaping is a great way to add character and personality to your home. It’s also an opportunity to incorporate sustainability into your home or business. But did you know that there are ways to do this without sacrificing aesthetics? 

Here are ten surprising tips for sustainable landscaping that won’t just help curb climate change but also save you money on your utility bills:

Eco friendly garden tips to save you time, money & effort
Sustainable landscaping can save homeowners money in the long run.
Using native plants and other eco-friendly practices can significantly reduce water usage and energy costs.
Sustainable landscaping can have a positive impact on the environment, including improved air and water quality, increased biodiversity, and preservation of natural resources.
Implementing eco-friendly landscaping practices can increase property value and add to the overall curb appeal of your home.
Sustainable landscaping can be achieved through simple steps like using a rain barrel, planting native species, reducing pesticide and fertilizer use, and composting yard waste.

Incorporate Native Plants

One of the best ways to reduce your overall environmental impact is to grow native plants in your garden. Native plants are more likely to survive than plants from other areas, because they have adapted to local conditions like soil and climate and so require less care and water. 

They also provide food for wildlife and help protect the local environment by maintaining a balance between its native species and their foreign invaders. 

These natural systems work together in harmony with one another, which benefits all aspects of nature: plant life, insect life, small animal life such as birds or mammals like deer or raccoons (which eat insects), etc., including us humans!

Sustainable landscaping not only benefits the environment but can also save homeowners money in the long run. As we discuss in our article Why You Need to Implement Sustainable Landscaping in Your Garden Now, incorporating eco-friendly practices can significantly reduce water usage and energy costs, while also increasing property value.

Install A Permeable Surface

You can install a permeable surface, like gravel or stone, to help water seep into the ground. This is especially helpful if you live in an area that has a lot of rain and snow (like Seattle). Permeable surfaces will also prevent storm water from pooling around your home and causing erosion.

If you have a sloped yard, installing tilted sheets of concrete pavers will allow water to flow away from your home and will keep it from pooling on flat surfaces where it could cause erosion problems.

Reduce Your Lawn Size

Reduce your lawn size. The larger your grassy area, the more water it will need to survive and thrive. Lawns are not a necessity. They can be beautiful and add value to your property, but they can also be a huge waste of resources if you aren’t careful about managing them.

 If you want to reduce your water use when maintaining your lawn, consider reducing its size or eliminate it altogether in favor of paving or other ground cover options like mulch or stones that require less maintenance than grass does.

Plant drought-resistant plants instead of thirsty ones wherever possible (such as putting succulents in place of ferns). You’ll save money on fertilizer/watering costs over time since these plants don’t require much upkeep!

Interested in making your landscape more sustainable? Check out our comprehensive guide on The Top 15 Sustainable Landscaping Practices You Need to Know About for expert tips and tricks. From using native plants to creating rain gardens, these practices will help you create a thriving and eco-friendly outdoor space.

Add A Rain Barrel

Rain barrels are an easy way to catch rainwater and store it for later use. Rain barrels are a great way to reduce the amount of water that would otherwise be used by your house’s plumbing system, and they can even earn you money by selling excess water back to your city’s utility company.

Rain barrels come in all shapes, sizes, materials and prices with some being more durable than others. 

Some have lids that seal tight while others don’t require any kind of lid at all (although if left uncovered bacteria can grow inside). 

It’s important to choose a rain barrel that’s right for your needs some people may prefer something on the smaller side or have room for only one barrel while others may want several different sizes so they can collect different quantities of water depending on what they need it for (for example: washing clothes vs watering plants).

Once you’ve chosen which size is best suited towards your needs it’s time install! Here’s an easy step-by-step guide:

Good Ideas50 GallonsPolyethyleneMade in the USA, this rain barrel features a durable design and includes a brass spigot for easy watering.
Algreen50 GallonsPolyethyleneThis rain barrel features a sleek, modern design and includes a corrosion-proof screen guard. It can be used with standard 0.75-inch garden hoses.
EarthMinded55 GallonsRecycled PlasticThis eco-friendly rain barrel is made from 100% recycled materials and includes a patented FlexiFit diverter to prevent overflow.
Suncast50 GallonsResinThis easy-to-assemble rain barrel includes a debris filter and garden hose compatible design. It is made from durable, weather-resistant resin.

Note: Rain barrels are an eco-friendly way to collect and store rainwater for use in your garden. Always check with your local municipality or water district to ensure that using a rain barrel complies with any local laws or regulations.

Mulch! With Your Grass Clippings

You can use grass clippings as mulch, and they’re an especially great option if you have a lot of trees or shrubs in your yard. 

Grass clippings are a natural organic fertilizer, so using them as mulch will help keep the soil in your beds moist and rich with nutrients. Plus, since they’re also a weed-smothering material, they’ll help keep those unwanted plants from growing back! 

As an added bonus to this money-saving tip: if your grass is already growing thickly (or if it’s just been cut), then adding another layer of fresh grass clippings over top will slow down the decomposition process, meaning that there will be less work for your compost pile (which means saving more money on buying more materials).

This might sound like a lot of work but consider this: according to one study from Missouri State University Extension Service in Springfield MO (one state over from me!), “a healthy lawn can produce about 5 pounds per year” so all you need is about 1/20th of what’s already being produced!

Sustainable landscaping isn’t just about being kind to the planet—it can also benefit your home and community. In our article Discover the Benefits of Sustainable Landscaping for Your Home and Community, we explore the positive impact of eco-friendly landscaping practices, including improved air and water quality, reduced energy use, and increased curb appeal.

Grow Your Own Food And Ornamentals

Growing your own food and ornamentals is one of the easiest ways to be more sustainable. Although it might seem time consuming at first, once you have a few systems down, you can spend as much or as little time on your garden as you like.

Choose plants based on your climate needs: For example, if you live in an area with severe winters or very hot summers like I do you’ll want to plant things that will thrive in those conditions (eucalyptus trees are great because they provide shade but don’t block out the sun). If there’s room for fruit trees in your yard, these can also provide an amazing amount of shade while giving back delicious fruit.

Choose plants native to your region: Native plants are adapted to local climates and soil conditions, so they’re less likely than non-natives to get pest infestations or die from drought. They also tend not to need extensive watering systems since they’re accustomed to dryer summers. 

Plus knowing what grows naturally near you means making sure you’re taking care of our natural resources! Plus there’s always something new growing wild somewhere nearby if one plant dies off… just take advantage!

Grow vegetables that require less maintenance: Plants like tomatoes require large amounts of water since they’re thirsty fruits (and their roots need lots of room) but other types like lettuce grow well without needing much attention at all except for harvesting them when ready! 

Try growing these instead if given enough space in which case there’s no reason why everyone couldn’t enjoy fresh greens year round! Even better yet? Planting different types together creates diversity within beds so species aren’t competing against each other so hard which means healthier plants overall.

Plant Low-Maintenance Flowers, Grasses, Shrubs, And Trees

Plants are often thought of as a source of beauty, but their contributions go far beyond that. Plants can help to improve our health and reduce stress, too. 

Plus, they’re essential for creating an environment where we feel safe and comfortable. For these reasons and more, it’s important to select low-maintenance plants for your landscaping so that you don’t have to spend so much time watering them or fertilizing them (and paying for those things). 

Low-maintenance plants also require less pesticide than other types of foliage. In other words: you’ll save money by having fewer pests around!

Some examples of low-maintenance flowers include lavender, marigolds (which are known for repelling mosquitoes), daffodils and daisies (both great at attracting bees). 

Trees like Australian tea trees don’t usually require much maintenance either; just be sure not to overwater them since they prefer dry conditions!

Plant TypeExample VarietiesDescription
FlowersBlack-eyed Susan, Coneflower, DaylilyThese hardy, drought-tolerant perennials require minimal watering and upkeep while providing beautiful blooms year after year.
GrassesBlue Fescue, Feather Reed Grass, SwitchgrassThese versatile ornamental grasses add texture and interest to a low-maintenance landscape. Drought-resistant and hardy, they require little water or maintenance once established.
ShrubsRosemary, Boxwood, JuniperThese evergreen shrubs require very little water and can be easily shaped to fit any landscaped area.
TreesJapanese Maple, Redbud, MagnoliaThese trees add height and visual interest to your landscape without requiring excessive maintenance or watering. Many varieties are drought-tolerant and thrive with minimal upkeep.

Note: There are many more low-maintenance plants available beyond those listed above. Always check with a local nursery or gardening center for suggestions that will best suit your location and climate.

Let Some Areas Grow Wild

  • Let some areas grow wild.
  • Plant native plants.
  • Mulch with your grass clippings, and use it to make compost or fertilizer.
  • Grow your own food and ornamentals next to each other in pots on the porch or patio, or in a small garden on a balcony or roof top.
  • Repurpose waste products as mulch on your property, such as sawdust from woodworking projects and coffee grounds from restaurants that have been making organic brews for decades (ask first).

Looking to get started with sustainable landscaping but not sure where to begin? Our article Why Sustainable Landscaping Is the Future of Gardening and How to Get Started provides a comprehensive overview of the benefits of sustainable landscaping, as well as practical steps on how to implement eco-friendly practices in your outdoor space.

Repurpose Waste Products As Mulch On Your Property

Use your lawn clippings, leaves and wood chips as mulch. You can compost them or lay them on top of the soil around your plants.

If you’re using recycled paper, choose a habitat-friendly brand such as FSC Certified Paper or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified Paper. The FSC is an independent organization that oversees policies related to the environment, social responsibility and sustainable development in forests worldwide.

Opt for polystyrene packaging when buying items such as plates, cups and packing materials instead of plastic packaging made from petroleum products. 

In addition to being more environmentally friendly than petroleum-based plastics, polystyrene has been shown to break down into smaller pieces faster than other types of plastic over time while still remaining relatively intact at larger sizes throughout its lifetime which means no landfill space!

Sustainable landscaping doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. If you’re a busy homeowner looking for easy ways to make your outdoor space more eco-friendly, be sure to check out our article 15 Simple Steps to Sustainable Landscaping for the Busy Homeowner. From reducing water usage to swapping out chemical fertilizers, these tips can help you create a beautiful and sustainable landscape without sacrificing time or money.

Landscape With Rocks And Boulders That Require No Watering

One of the simplest ways to reduce your water use and make your landscape more sustainable is by switching out dead grass for a more natural look. 

By planting shrubs, trees, and other plants in rock gardens, you can save up to 80% of the amount of water used by traditional landscapes. You’ll also notice that the plants need far fewer fertilizers or pesticides compared to those grown in soil.

Landscaping IdeaDescription
XeriscapingLandscaping with drought-tolerant plants, rocks, and mulch.
HardscapingLandscaping with features like rock gardens, boulders, and hardscaped pathways.
Artificial TurfSynthetic grass that looks and feels like the real thing, but requires no water.
Rock GardensLandscaping with a combination of rocks, gravel, and hardy succulents.
Water FeaturesIncorporating a pond, fountain, or waterfall into your landscape, which can be maintained with rainwater.


If you’re looking for some new ideas to help you design a more sustainable landscape, we hope this article has been helpful! 

There are many different ways that you can incorporate sustainability into your landscaping project. 

We recommend checking out our other blog posts on sustainable gardening and landscaping, where we cover topics like rainwater harvesting and composting.

Further Reading

Interested in learning more about sustainable landscaping? Here are a few resources to get you started:

Check out Sustainable Review’s article for 12 eco-friendly landscaping tips that will help reduce your environmental footprint.

Better Homes & Gardens offers a comprehensive guide to green landscaping, including tips on soil health, composting, and natural pest management.

Looking for more sustainable landscaping ideas? Exscape Designs’ top 13 tips and ideas is a great resource to help you create an earth-friendly outdoor space.


What is sustainable landscaping?

Sustainable landscaping is a gardening approach that prioritizes eco-friendly practices, including water conservation, native plant use, and reduced chemical usage. This environmentally conscious approach to landscaping helps preserve natural resources and supports local wildlife populations.

What are some benefits of sustainable landscaping?

Sustainable landscaping can have a positive impact on both the environment and homeowners. Benefits include reduced water usage, improved air and water quality, decreased energy use, and increased biodiversity. Eco-friendly landscaping practices can also increase property value and beautify outdoor spaces.

How can I make my landscape more sustainable?

There are a variety of ways to make your landscape more sustainable, including:

  • Using native plants.
  • Incorporating rain gardens and other water-conserving features.
  • Composting yard waste.
  • Reducing chemical pesticide and fertilizer use.
  • Creating habitat for local wildlife.

How can sustainable landscaping save me money?

Sustainable landscaping practices can save homeowners money in a variety of ways. By reducing water usage and chemical pesticide and fertilizer use, homeowners can save on utility bills and landscaping expenses. Additionally, sustainable landscapes have been shown to increase property value and add to the overall curb appeal of a home.

How do I get started with sustainable landscaping?

Getting started with sustainable landscaping can be as simple as incorporating a few eco-friendly practices into your routine. Some easy steps to take include:

  • Using a rain barrel to collect and reuse rainwater.
  • Planting native species that require less water and maintenance.
  • Reducing pesticide and fertilizer use.
  • Incorporating composting practices.