GuestPost: Save Energy with a Greener Backyard

It seems all my friends are going Green these days in one form or another. I have people in my life who are crusading for a better environment or they’re doing things like moving to a vegetarian diet.

For a long time, I was extremely resistant because I had so many people telling me what to do. I have no problem with the green movement, I just don’t like being judged if I don’t happen to act as fast as someone else. But with a little bit of study and more understanding of how things work, I found many benefits to living a greener lifestyle. Of course I want to help out the environment and preserve the earth for future generations, but it’s nice to know I can save a bit of money at the same time! I recently decided to implement some green measures in my own backyard, and the process has been surprisingly enjoyable every step of the way.

I have to admit I was thoroughly unaware of how much I was wasting in my backyard. After all, it didn’t really seem like anything was going on back there. But I wasn’t paying attention to how much energy and resources I was actually wasting on a daily basis. For example, I had a big green lawn that required watering on a consistent basis. It never really dawned on me that I had the option of cutting back on my watering routine or scaling down my lawn altogether. But with the help of my friend who is an expert in backyard renovations, I’ve been able to make my backyard space a lot more efficient. That means less unnecessary grass to water and more effective use of things like stone paths and walkways.

Electricity was another thing I was using in abundance without really knowing it. While I always take the time to turn off lights in my home, I wasn’t using the same basic rule in my own backyard. It was easy to save money on electricity. I had bulbs that were lighting up my backyard in addition to motion sensor lighting in places that were entirely unnecessary. There were also times when I left the lights on in my tool shed or things running that didn’t need to be turned on. When I took stock of exactly how much electricity I was wasting, I was able to save a lot on my overall electric bill. I’ve also converted to using a natural gas grill that saves on a lot of energy. I essentially threw out my old charcoal grill even though I was hesitant to do so at first. But after finding a Weber model that could be hooked up to my natural gas line, I’m fully convinced I have one of the best gas grills on the market.

Backyard Composting: Your Complete Guide to Recycling Yard Clippings, Save Mondy and Water, Stop Landfill OverloadingPerhaps the biggest change I made in my backyard is adding a small garden and a compost heap. I’ve actually taken it upon myself to grow some of my own vegetables and this has helped me to save money in addition to taking a lot of the pressure off of the farming industry. My friend informed me that even if you buy freshly grown local organic produce, you’re still indirectly using a lot of energy due to transportation and farming costs (not as much as if you buy conventionally farmed produce from your local supermarket of course!). I’m also quite happy with my backyard composting that allows me to get fresh fertilizer for use in my garden. I’m actually pretty proud about the way I’ve been able to blend my garden routine with natural gas cooking in a much more comfortable green backyard. Believe me, I’m not some environmental fanatic that is adamant that everyone makes a change, but I fully encourage you to look into it if you’ve ever had the thought of going green.

Frank Willis is also a contributor at gasgrillsandbbq.com where outdoor living and home cooking are celebrated. They cover home and backyard tips, and he tells us it’s the perfect place to find your next (hopefully environmentally conscious) natural gas or hybrid charcoal grill.

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