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    Green the Backyard

    Your backyard is your piece of the environment and is an ideal place to practice the 3 Rs. It is also the place where the impact of your efforts can be most visible. Use the following ideas to incorporate the 3 Rs into your backyard activities.

    Greenscape your lawn. Greenscaping is a set of landscaping practices that maximize the health of lawns and plants while minimizing the environmental risks posed by some traditional practices. Greenscaping promotes the use of bio-based and organic products, native plants, and sustainable water management to prevent soil erosion, water runoff and other negative consequences of traditional landscaping.

    Buy recycled. Purchase lawn furniture, decking and other outdoor products that contain recycled content. These items include welcome mats made from recycled flip-flops, birdhouses crafted from reclaimed wood, or patio furniture made from recycled plastic. Buying recycled-content products makes it economically viable to collect recyclables and conserve resources. Follow this link to search the eight product categories for recycled content vendors providing products you can use.

    Create a compost pile. Don’t bag the grass the next time you mow your lawn. Leave the clippings on your lawn to provide mulch and nutrients. Also, consider the kitchen compost benefits of your organic biodegradable kitchen waste and apply finished compost to your lawn and garden. Composting does more than improve the quality of your soil: it keeps carbon from entering the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas, diverts waste from landfills and eliminates the creation of new waste by reducing the need to purchase fertilizers and pesticides. Citation: US Environmental Protection Agency’s Practice the 3 R’s