Backyard Design Ideas That are Good for the Planet

How do you design a good backyard? Well, the best outdoor living space in my mind is one that is sustainable! Here are a few backyard design ideas to help you create a sustainable landscape around your home. 

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outdoor natural water feature with text overlay 'Sustainable Backyard Design Ideas'

Cool Weather Means Backyard Landscaping Time

The heat of summer has finally passed and now we can spend time outside without suffering too horribly from the hot and humid weather. Fall is my favorite time of year to get out of the house and do some yard work.

I love the crisp cool mornings, the smell of fallen leaves and the beauty of the autumn colors. If you are heading out to your yard to do some much needed maintenance, keep these backyard design ideas in mind to help reduce your carbon footprint.

marigolds with butterfly on them

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Choose the right plants

Selecting the right grass, trees, shrubs and flowers can go a long way towards going green. If you live in a hot, arid climate, don’t plant things that require cooler temps and lots of water.

Check out the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center for ideas on what plants are appropriate in your area. You will find a ton of backyard landscaping ideas there! 

Desert style landscaping with native drought tolerant plants and cacti around business park in capital Arizona city of Phoenix

Consider xeriscaping your backyard

This goes hand-in-hand with tip number one! If you aren’t familiar with the term xeriscaping, it means to landscape your yard in ways that reduce or eliminate the need for additional watering.

Using alternatives to grass in your back yard design like mulch, pine-straw and stone will significantly reduce your need for outdoor watering. Grass is a very water heavy choice for landscaping and not very eco-friendly. Consider putting in a water element to attract birds and other wildlife.

Wooden Rain Barrel collecting runoff from roof through gutters.

Buy a rain barrel

It seems like the area I live in is either in the midst of a drought or we have so much rain that the ground is soggy! Install a rain barrel to catch the runoff from your roof and use to water your plants to save money on outdoor watering.

Let Mother Nature’s rain irrigate your plants even when there isn’t a single cloud in the sky! Check out the DIY Network for ideas on how to put together a rain barrel in your own yard.

birdhouse outside

Choose green backyard decor:

When purchasing items like flower pots, lawn furniture, bird baths or other backyard décor, consider used items. Buying second-hand items at yard sales and refurbishing them is a great way to save money and reduce your carbon footprint.

You can find flower pots made of recycled plastic and decorative benches made of bamboo to add beauty to your backyard while still letting you go green (check out my post on the pros and cons of bamboo before you shop).

outdoor fire pit with chairs around it

Like these backyard design ideas?  Read these posts, too

Making smarter design choices while landscaping can greatly reduce your carbon footprint. Incorporate green design ideas into your backyard with these posts:


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