Below is a guest posting on the subject of how to utilize eco-friendly material options for your patio/back yard hard-scape materials and furnishings.
Here in HOT Scottsdale, Arizona, the season to enjoy our outdoor spaces is not ending, but rather coming ….hopefully by the beginning of October if the climate gods are kind to us :)).
Patios, also known as courtyard or forecourt is the fabulous outdoor space of our home we get to enjoy most during those warm summer days. This space is ideal for recreation or dining which is most of the time an open structure with concrete or stone elements. Patios can also be laid out with bricks, block paving, cobbles or tiles. Since patios are created for our entertainment while enjoying the outdoors, it is best to keep the decor of our patio close to nature to ensure the highest sustainability.
If you already have a patio laid out, then you might want to skip this part. It wouldn’t hurt to understand what the best sustainable patio paving material is in case you are thinking of remodeling it. Most patios are made out of concrete which does not absorb much water when the rain falls. To break away from the conventional patio layout which does not help much when it comes to storm water run down, consider one of these more sustainable options:
– Previous concrete
Previous concrete looks just like traditional concrete, but it consists of porous. When it rains, the patio can soak up to five gallons of water per minute.
If you do not wish to install a solid surface, you can opt for interlocking pavers. These permeable pavers can be found in different styles and patterns. The gaps that come forth between the pavers will add some personal character to your patio as you can choose to fill it with ground cover, gravel or grass.
This patio layout is composed of polymer cylinders which form the framework. The Grasspave gets installed through a rolled out process over your desired patio area. It is ideal to use on your lawn as it protects the grass’s roots while preventing runoff. This patio paving is even robust enough to park a car on.
If you prefer to have a patio in the form of a deck, then chances are you are considering wood. Wood that comes from managed forest is eco-friendly as lumber is harvested in a controlled environment. Another way to go is to use reclaimed wood instead, which does not require any new trees to be harvested. All wood decks do ask for regular maintenance through painting or staining. If you like the look of timber, but do not want the hassle of keeping the wood maintained then you could choose composite decking materials which are another great sustainable option. The boards are made from recycled plastic and fiber that comes from wood waste while at the same time they are designed to look like natural wood.
When your patio is laid out the next step is to place the furniture, adding to the luxury which can give you the feeling of an outside lounge when making the right choices. Choosing sustainable furniture does not mean you have to sacrifice your style as there is good quality eco-friendly furniture out there that looks great. Bamboo is first on the list when it comes to eco-friendly wooden furniture. Bamboo is renewable at a rapid paste and furniture made from bamboo can come in all shades and colors. Teak wood is another good sustainable choice as it is strong and weathers well. Recycled material like plastics and poly wood makes great outdoor furniture as they are durable and designed in varies forms, colors, and styles.
If you are sticking to the natural look for your patio by using wood all around, you would want to make sure those wood surfaces and additions are resistant to rot and termites. The more sustainable way to do this is to choose products without toxic chemicals in them. Pay attentions to the wood treatment that you buy. Copper Azone and Amine copper are a safer alternative, but should not be burned or recycled. Another known non-toxic treatment to consider is Borate.
Instead of using conventional lights outside, use solar lighting or LED powered lights instead. This type of lighting will help you save money in the long run and create a nice ambiance outside.
– Solar lights need to be placed in an area where their solar cell receives sunlight during the day which enables their batteries to charge. When the night falls, the power stored in the batteries will light them up. Solar light can be found in varies styles like lanterns, spotlight, and globes. Besides the fact that you do not need to use electricity, another plus is that you do not have to struggle with electrical wiring.
– LED lights are very energy sufficient if you are choosing to go with electrical fixtures, but they can come in the solar form as well. LED lights can be used in many creative ways as they come in different shapes and even in a variety of colors. You can choose from pendant, lantern, spotlight and much more. By purchasing LED string lights and hanging them in a tree or twisting them around a pole is a fun idea that creates a magical effect.
For a more eco-friendly grilling experience, it is best to choose propane grills. These grills work with gas and will cook the food more efficiently in no time and cause less harm to the environment than charcoal grills do. Solar power is being implemented in many electrical appliances these days. By searching the solar grill market, you might just find one that fits your budget and style. The Wilson solar grill is an example of a solar grill that will help you eliminate gas and coal altogether. There are even varies solar ovens to choose from that can be used for a great outdoor cooking experience.
Choosing an eco-friendly product to compliment your patio is in most cases the most sustainable choice to make. Even the simplest choice can have a big impact on the environment and provide you with good long lasting quality. Choose designs that are connected with nature without causing harm to the earth.