How To Create A Beautiful, Eco-Friendly Outdoor Space

If you’re looking to maximize your outdoor space, you need to know how to landscape sustainably. The average American home has a lot of space for greenery, but just because you have the room doesn’t mean it’s practical or cost effective to fill that space with lawn. 

With a little creativity, you can turn your yard into a lush oasis without breaking the bank and without harming the planet!

15 Ways to Create an Eco-Friendly Backyard – YouTube
Key Takeaways
– Sustainable landscaping practices can benefit both the environment and your wallet by conserving natural resources and reducing landscaping expenses.
– Implementing practices like using native plants, composting, and reducing chemical usage can help you create an eco-friendly and beautiful outdoor space.
– Sustainable landscaping is important not only for your own property but also for the overall health and well-being of your community and the ecosystem.
– Creating a sustainable outdoor living space doesn’t have to be overwhelming or expensive – even small steps like reducing water usage and choosing eco-friendly materials can make a big difference.
– There are many helpful resources available to help you get started with sustainable landscaping, including articles, guides, and local organizations.

Go Native With Plants

Native plants are better adapted to local conditions, so they require less water and fertilizer. They’re also easier to care for because they aren’t used to being transported around the globe; they know how to grow in your climate and soil type. 

Native plants attract more local wildlife by providing food sources and habitat, which can make your outdoor space feel more like home. The best part? Native plants are less likely to be affected by pests or diseases that have plagued other regions of the world!

Finally, native species are a good choice for attracting pollinators—like bees and butterflies because of their unique fragrances. If you want more pollinators in your garden (and who doesn’t?), planting natives is one way to do it!

If you’re looking to create an eco-friendly outdoor space, implementing sustainable landscaping is a must. As our article on Why You Need to Implement Sustainable Landscaping explains, “Sustainable landscaping practices help conserve natural resources, reduce pollution, and provide habitat for wildlife, all while creating a beautiful outdoor space.”

Create A Worm Farm

Get your hands dirty by setting up a worm farm. Worms eat organic waste, like food scraps and dead leaves, producing compost that you can use to fertilize plants and replenish soil.

In the process of digestion, they release castings a nutrient-rich black gold substance that makes for excellent fertilizer. It’s a win–win!

The first step to building your own worm farm is to get some worms. You can buy them online or at any good gardening store; look for red wiggler worms (Eisenia fetida), which are sold as composting worms and have been shown to be very effective at processing waste materials. 

Once you’ve got your worms, it’s time to build the container they’ll live in this should ideally be plastic or metal so that light doesn’t get in, which could kill them off. 

Use air holes drilled into the sides of the bin so that there’s plenty of ventilation inside without letting too much light in or letting pests get into it through those same openings (if necessary).

Next comes feeding time: add damp straw or shredded newspaper along with organic waste (like vegetable scraps) from home every couple days until everything smells nice and earthy—it shouldn’t take long! 

After about two weeks’ worth of feeding sessions (or longer if needed), open up this little ecosystem by removing all but one inch from topsoil layer; then start harvesting compost by pulling out more material every couple months until there’s nothing left but dry roots on top.”

Creating a sustainable landscape isn’t just good for the planet – it’s good for your wallet too! As our article on 10 Surprising Tips for Sustainable Landscaping points out, “By choosing native plants, using rainwater, and incorporating compost into your soil, you can save money on water bills and landscaping expenses while reducing your environmental impact.”

Go For Edible Landscaping

Edible landscaping is a great way to save money, reduce waste and involve the whole family in the process. It’s also a great way to teach kids where food comes from and get them excited about trying new things.

Ditch The Lawnmower

In order to have a green lawn, it’s important to use a mower that doesn’t pollute. There are several ways to do this: you can use a push reel mower or rotary mower, which both require manual effort and therefore don’t generate any pollution. 

You can also use a scythe or string trimmer if you’re comfortable with them (or if your yard is small enough).

In addition to being eco-friendly, these types of lawnmowers will save you money on gas and electricity!

Sustainable landscaping isn’t just a personal choice – it also benefits your entire community. As our article on Discovering the Benefits of Sustainable Landscaping notes, “By creating a beautiful and environmentally-friendly outdoor space, you can inspire your neighbors to do the same, improving the overall health and well-being of your community.”

Use Compost And Mulch To Reduce Water Use

Reducing water is an important part of sustainable landscaping. Composting and mulching are two ways to do this, and they can be used in combination with each other.

Mulch is any loose material, such as wood chips or straw, that you spread across the soil to protect it from heat and evaporation. Organic matter decomposes when it’s exposed to air and sunlight. 

In the process, it releases its stored carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere and creates nutrients for plants all without needing extra water from above ground sources like rain or sprinklers. 

Composting does the same thing by keeping organic matter out of landfills (where it would otherwise rot) so that it can break down quickly under controlled conditions instead of slowly releasing CO2 into our atmosphere over thousands of years!

Benefits of Using Compost and Mulch to Reduce Water Use

Water ConservationMulch can reduce water usage in your garden by up to 50% by preventing evaporation and retaining moisture in the soil. (Source: GardenTech)
Improved Soil HealthComposting adds nutrients to soil and creates a healthy environment for plants to grow, which can help reduce the need for watering and other maintenance tasks. (Source: Miracle-Gro)
Reduced ErosionBoth compost and mulch can help prevent soil erosion caused by water runoff, promoting soil health and reducing the need for additional watering. (Source: The Spruce)
Natural Pest ControlComposting and mulching can attract beneficial insects and organisms that can help control harmful pests and reduce the need for chemical pesticides. (Source: Good Housekeeping)
Cost SavingsCompost and mulch are inexpensive or free options for enhancing soil health and reducing water usage in your garden, providing cost savings over time. (Source: TreePeople)

Recycle Your Grass Clippings

When you mow your lawn, don’t just let all of those grass clippings go to waste! The best way to use them is by spreading them around your plants and trees. 

Grass clippings are a rich source of nutrients for plants and can help keep soil moist and well aerated. 

If the area you’re mulching has poor drainage (like if it’s very dry or located next to a sidewalk), add some compost or other organic matter before spreading the grass clippings for better results.

If you want even more of a natural look in your garden, try mixing up different varieties of grasses instead of using one type alone. 

Mixing different types gives an interesting texture that allows easy access to various levels within the landscape design structure; larger-leafed species will tend to grow at ground level while smaller-leaved ones will form dense mats along with flowering perennials depending on how they’re planted together!

If you’re unsure where to begin with sustainable landscaping, our article on The Top 15 Sustainable Landscaping Practices offers an excellent starting point. “By incorporating practices like using compost, planting native species, and practicing organic pest control, you can create a beautiful and sustainable outdoor space that benefits both your family and the environment.”

Choose Drip Irrigation Systems Instead Of Sprinklers

  • Drip irrigation systems are more efficient than sprinklers.
  • They’re better for the environment, as they can reduce water usage by up to 70%.
  • They’re also much better for plants, because they use a controlled amount of water instead of soaking everything in a big spray.
  • And finally, it’s just plain cheaper! You won’t have to pay an hourly rate for lawn care or buy chemical fertilizers every week if you switch over to drip irrigation.

Use Organic Pesticides

Use organic pesticides. Some of your plants may need a little extra help staying healthy and looking good. You can choose from a variety of organic substances to control pests, including soaps and oils that kill insects on contact. 

Organic pesticides are made from naturally occurring substances such as herbs and citrus peel oil rather than synthetic chemicals, which can harm beneficial insects like bees and butterflies by disrupting their nervous systems or interfering with their ability to reproduce.

Choose appropriate mulch materials. Mulch is great for keeping weeds at bay, but there are many different types of mulch you could use in your landscape and they all have different environmental impacts! 

Choosing the right type of mulch will help ensure that you’re doing your part to create an eco-friendly outdoor space without compromising the look and feel of your garden or overburdening yourself with upkeep tasks throughout the season..

Use Natural Building Materials In Your Hardscapes

Old-style cobblestone walkways, stone patios and stone walls are common in natural landscaping. 

These materials also make good use of recycled materials like glass and concrete. You can create your own cobblestone path by laying down stones in a pattern you like, and then filling them with sand or mulch to create a solid surface.

If you want to use a mixture of materials for your hardscape, look for paving stones that will not only complement each other but also add texture to the space. 

In addition to paving stones, bricks, concrete pavers and flagstones are all great options for creating interesting patterns on surfaces or around trees.

Benefits of Using Natural Building Materials in Your Hardscapes

Eco-FriendlinessUsing natural materials like flagstone, brick, or wood can reduce your impact on the environment and promote sustainable construction. (Source: HGTV)
DurabilityNatural building materials are often more durable and long-lasting than synthetic materials, meaning you’ll need to replace them less often and save money in the long run. (Source:
AestheticsNatural materials add a unique and natural aesthetic to your hardscape design that can’t be replicated with synthetic materials. (Source: Landscaping Network)
MaintenanceNatural materials often require less maintenance than synthetic materials, reducing the need for harsh chemicals and power tools for upkeep. (Source: Bob Vila)
Increased Home ValueUsing natural materials in your hardscape can increase your home value and curb appeal, making it a smart investment for homeowners. (Source: HomeAdvisor)

Consider Permaculture Design Principles

Permaculture design principles are a crucial part of sustainable landscaping. They refer to the way we use and interact with nature, and help us to take advantage of natural systems in order to create a more resource-efficient landscape.

Permaculture principles include:

Observe and interact – Permaculture encourages you to pay attention to what’s happening in your landscape so that you can make informed decisions about how best to utilize it. For example, if you notice that one area gets more sun than others during certain times of day or seasons, then this would be an ideal place for a vegetable garden. 

If instead it seems like all your plants are struggling due to lack of water, consider adding irrigation systems so that they can be provided with adequate moisture as needed (or perhaps install drainage systems so excess water won’t cause runoff). 

By observing how each plant reacts when conditions change over time and making adjustments accordingly you’ll find yourself better able to control what grows where and ensure maximum productivity from both edible crops as well as non-edible plants such as trees or shrubs whose beauty adds value beyond what could ever be measured monetarily (e.g., providing shade for people who enjoy sitting outside).

Sustainable landscaping may feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Our article on 15 Simple Steps to Sustainable Landscaping explains that “By taking small steps like reducing your use of water and chemicals, composting your yard waste, and choosing native plants, you can create a thriving and beautiful outdoor space without breaking the bank or hurting the planet.”

Get An Outdoor Sink To Save Water And Time On Lawn Chores.

Install a Rain Barrel:

Rainwater harvesting is a great way to save water and money. They’re also good for the environment, since they reduce runoff that can cause pollution and erosion. If you don’t have one, it’s easy to install one yourself.

With an outdoor sink, you’ll never have to lug heavy buckets of water from inside your house again! And if you’re like me (and my neighbors), then this will be an especially welcome feature during Florida summers when it’s too hot to leave the house for more than 10 minutes at a time…

Get A Rain Barrel For Capturing Rainwater For Plant Use

A rain barrel is an easy way to capture and use rainwater, which can then be used to water plants. The one drawback of a rain barrel is that it’s not very effective in rainy climates, like the Pacific Northwest or Florida. 

However, if you have an unlimited supply of water in your yard or garden with no irrigation system already installed, consider adding a rain barrel to catch some of the excess water for your plants.

If you’re considering installing a rain barrel yourself (as opposed to purchasing one), here are some tips:

Make sure it’s placed where there’s enough space for drainage below it so that runoff doesn’t become stagnant or cause flooding in other areas nearby. 

Also consider how much space will be needed around the barrel so that people don’t trip over it when walking through their yard or garden area; this will depend on how many barrels you want set up at once!

Check with local authorities beforehand if there are any laws regarding private use versus public access rights before getting started this may save both headaches later down the line when homeowners’ associations complain about having empty pools next door without proper permits first…

Benefits of Using a Rain Barrel for Capturing Rainwater

Reduces Municipal Water UsageAn average rain barrel can save up to 1,300 gallons of water during the peak summer months. (Source: The City of Calgary)
Saves Money on Water BillsUsing captured rainwater for irrigation can reduce water bills by up to 40%. (Source: Lowe’s)
Decreases Soil ErosionRunoff from rain can cause soil erosion in your yard, which can be prevented by capturing and reusing rainwater with a rain barrel. (Source: The Spruce)
Promotes Healthier PlantsRainwater is free of chemicals like chlorine, which can be harmful to plants and soil health. (Source: Gardener’s Supply Company)
Easy to Use and InstallMost rain barrels can be easily set up and connected to your gutter system with minimal tools and equipment. (Source: Home Depot)


Our hope is that this guide has inspired you to start working towards a more sustainable landscape. There are so many ways to make your garden beautiful and eco-friendly, and we’re excited about the possibilities!

As you saw in our post on how to choose plants for your garden, there are plenty of options out there and if you have the time (or money), it’s never too late to start building an outdoor space that is both beautiful and kind to Mother Earth.

Further Reading

If you want to learn more about creating sustainable and environmentally-friendly outdoor living spaces, check out these helpful resources:

10 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Outdoor Living Space: A comprehensive guide to creating a sustainable outdoor space that’s beautiful and functional.

Sustainable Landscaping: 5 Tips for Creating an Environmentally-Friendly Outdoor Space: Learn about the top five sustainable landscaping practices you can use to create a beautiful, eco-friendly outdoor living space.

Create an Eco-Friendly Outdoor Space: This article offers practical tips and advice for creating an eco-friendly outdoor space, including using sustainable materials and reducing water consumption.


What is sustainable landscaping?

Sustainable landscaping is a method of designing and maintaining outdoor spaces that promotes environmental health and conservation. This can include practices like using native plants, reducing water usage, and implementing organic pest control.

Why is sustainable landscaping important?

Sustainable landscaping is important because it helps conserve natural resources, reduce pollution, and protect wildlife habitats. It can also save homeowners money on landscaping expenses and water bills.

What are some examples of sustainable landscaping practices?

Some examples of sustainable landscaping practices include using native plants, composting, reducing water usage, and using organic methods of pest control.

Can sustainable landscaping be done on a budget?

Yes, sustainable landscaping can be done on a budget. Practices like reducing water usage, composting, and planting native species can actually save homeowners money on their landscaping expenses.

How can I get started with sustainable landscaping?

To get started with sustainable landscaping, you can begin by reducing your water usage, choosing native plants, and incorporating compost into your soil. It’s also a good idea to research local resources like composting facilities and native plant nurseries.