Go green with eco-friendly outdoor living spaces
Warmer weather means days spent in the backyard with barbecues, pool parties and neighborhood gatherings. This year, create a more satisfying and sustainable outdoor living space that you’ll feel extra good about by going “green.” With some expert advice, it’s easier than you think.
Here are four easy tips to help homeowners transform the backyard into an eco-friendly escape.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
Gone are the days when it was difficult to find eco-friendly products constructed with sustainable manufacturing processes. Today, it’s easy being green, especially when it comes to outdoor living. Among the “greenest” products available for the home is composite decking. Case in point, in the past nine years, Trex – the world’s largest manufacturer of wood-alternative decking – has salvaged more than 2.9 billion pounds of plastic and wood scrap, keeping these materials from landfills and transforming them into beautiful, high-performance and sustainable outdoor living products made of more than 95 percent recycled materials.
Maintaining a wood deck can be a chore with all that scrubbing, bleaching and staining – not to mention the work and harsh chemicals required to repair or replace weathered, splintered or deteriorated boards. Wood-alternative decking and railing is low maintenance and designed to withstand wear and tear from weather, outdoor furniture and foot traffic. High-performance composite decking offers superior durability and long-lasting good looks. Its exclusive composite formula brings together the best qualities of wood and plastic to create a superior alternative to wood, resulting in decks that require only a periodic cleaning with soap and water to stay looking and performing “like new” for years without sanding, staining or painting.
“High-performance composite decking allows homeowners to create the dream outdoor living space they’ve always wanted while being mindful of the environment,” says Adam Zambanini, vice president of marketing for Trex. “We are extremely proud to offer a product that is as easy on the earth as it is to maintain.”
Deck and landscape lighting are ideal for adding ambiance and safety to any outdoor space. For maximum energy efficiency, forego conventional lighting systems that use incandescent bulbs – which waste energy by producing heat as well as light – for more energy-efficient LED fixtures. For instance, fixtures featuring Cree LED components use 70 percent less energy than traditional incandescent lighting and deliver up to 40,000 hours of light, so homeowners can enjoy their outdoor spaces long after the sun goes down.
Finish with eco-friendly furnishings
Refresh your deck with sustainable and stylish all-weather outdoor furniture. Look for pieces made from durable composites or recycled steels. These materials are weather-resistant, ultra-durable and long-lasting. Composite furniture also is extremely eco-friendly made primarily from recycled polyethylene sourced from discarded plastics such as milk jugs. Like composite decking, composite furniture doesn’t require painting, staining or waterproofing to keep it looking like new for years to come.