Using Native Plants in Your Natural Landscaping Design

Using Native Plants in Your Natural Landscaping Design

There really are no rules, rhyme, or reason when it comes to choosing your natural landscape design. You can utilize natural landscaping in all or part of your backyard or even front yard design. Be aware, however, that once you start utilizing natural landscaping in your design for your home, you may never go back to traditional planting. Natural landscaping incorporates more vegetation, native plants, wetland, and prairie systems to highlight the quality of water-filled areas.

What Are Native Plants?

Native Plants are plants that are typically grown naturally in their particular region and have been there for hundreds, perhaps, thousands of years. Native plants thrive in their particular climate and soil.

Native Plants Have Many Benefits including:

Aesthetics Native plants offer many benefits not only to homeowners, but also to business owners, organizations, groups, and even golf courses. There is no better way to attract new customers than to be a business owner or golf course that is environmentally conscious, friendly, and aware. Playing golf on a golf course that utilizes native plants, vegetation, and tall grasses also enhances the atmosphere for the players.

Environmental Utilizing native plants instead of brick and mortar, concrete slabs, and asphalt helps the environment tremendously. These items are not as porous and water receptive as native plants. Native plants can aid in the reduction of storm water runoff. Communities that live along bodies of water that has mostly concrete surrounding them are negatively affected by flood and overflow from storms. Having fewer floods means also having less exposure to mosquitoes and other bugs that flourish near water.

Curb appeal For curb appeal, native plants have a tremendous impact, especially on resale value. For homeowners wishing to sell, the impact of native plants in their front yard or in their back yard alongside a small stream has great resale value. For business owners, native plants give the impression of an organization that is down to earth at its core and is appealing to draw new business or customers into it.

Other wildlife Native plants are imperative to the existence of other wildlife such as birds. Berries on certain shrubs help to maintain the ecosystem, which is vital to birdlife.

Insects Without native plants, insects could not thrive. Insects make many people’s skin crawl; however, insects are a necessary part of our ecosystem as they provide food and nourishment for other wildlife. Using native plants in your landscaping design not only benefits the homeowner or business owner, but is also beneficial to the ecosystem and all its critters.

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9 Ways to Go Green in the Kitchen

9 Ways to Go Green in the Kitchen

Going green doesn’t always have to involve a huge time and money investment. Here are 9 simple things you can start doing in your kitchen to save energy and help lower your utility bills:

  1. Start a garden. Whether you opt for a full-out vegetable garden or a small window of fresh herbs, the taste of freshness will be unmistakable!
  2. Shop locally! Visit local farmers markets or choose locally produced produce whenever possible.
  3. Bring your own bags when you visit the grocery store. Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs.
  4. Save time and energy by cooking a double portion and setting half aside in the freezer for a quick meal at a later date.
  5. Get energized and leave the appliances alone. Whenever possible, mix and beat ingredients by hand, cook multiple items at the same time, and avoid washing dishes unnecessarily. Use energy-efficient appliances such as the slow cooker or toaster oven, which can use up to 30% less energy. Be aware of energy wasters such as excessive pre-heating or simmering.
  6. Ditch the wraps (such as saran wrap or foil) and make the switch to reusable containers for lunches and leftovers.
  7. Put a lid on it! Did you know that cooking with lids could save up to three times the energy? Keep all that steam inside the pot for a more energy- efficient (and faster!) meal.
  8. Go fresh—say goodbye to excessively packaged foods, which are often produced using processes that are harmful to the environment. Cooking meals from scratch using fresh ingredients is not only healthier, it’s often less expensive and better for the environment.
  9. Decide what you are looking for before you open the fridge, and never keep the door open longer than absolutely necessary.

Got a green living tip of your own? Share it with everyone in the comments section below!


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How to Stop Getting Junk Mail

How to Stop Getting Junk Mail

Want to stop getting junk mail? Sick of catalogs? Sick of the yellow pages? Opt out.

Here’s how.

1.   Phone directories. Click here to get started.

2.   Direct marketing junk. Register to eliminate catalogs, magazine offers, donation requests, and so forth.

3.   Credit card offers. This service is a joint venture among four consumer credit reporting companies, such as Experian and Equifax. You’ll need to provide your Social Security number to stop the flood of credit card offers.

Quick junk mail facts

Here’s the impact you can have by opting out of junk mail. Just consider these four facts from Forest Ethics:

•   Paper production is the third most energy-intensive of all manufacturing industries, using over 12% of all energy in the industrial sector.

•   American households receive a total of 104.7 billion pieces of junk mail annually – 848 pieces of junk mail per household. That chews up 6.5 million tons of paper each year.

•   Approximately 44% of junk mail goes to landfills unopened.