5 ways to go green on your patio

6 June, 2014

Living a sustainable lifestyle doesn't have to mean drastically changing the way that you do things. In fact, how you decorate your home can have a big impact on the environment. Imagine being able to relax on your patio, knowing that you're helping out the earth at the same time! Here are a few easy and beautiful ways that you can go green when it comes to your patio:

1. Use eco-friendly materials
When choosing materials for flooring, outdoor seating and other furniture, opt for sustainable choices such as reclaimed wood, bamboo, recycled glass or concrete. Most of the furniture at RST Brands is 100 percent recyclable, made from PE rattan wicker with powder-coated aluminum frames. The pieces are just as visually appealing as they are eco-friendly. These are all beautiful materials which can be blended together to create a patio that's modern, traditional, vintage or rustic. If you do use wood, make sure that it has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, which means the wood has been taken from timber that meets certain eco-friendly standards.

2. Opt for energy efficient bulbs
Whether your patio is lit with lanterns, wall sconces or strings of light, make sure that the light fixtures have energy-efficient bulbs. Compact fluorescent bulbs can brighten up your patio and even help to reduce your monthly energy bill.

3. Stop buying mulch
Instead of heading to the nearest home improvement store to pick up bags of soil and mulch, consider simply creating a composting pile in your backyard. Having your own compost pile will allow you to create soil that is packed with nutrients. The compost will be ready to use in your yard after about six to nine months. Just throwing your food scraps into the compost pile each day can benefit the environment by reducing the number of garbage bags that you send off to a landfill.

4. Choose low-hassle plants
There are some plants out there that don't require frequent watering, helping to save you money. Cacti and succulents are perfect for your patio, but they're not the only plants you can include. Other varieties that don't require a whole lot of maintenance include tulips, marigolds, ornamental grasses and pansies.

5. Use recycled materials
There are a few items that you may already have lying around the house that can be used as patio decor. For instance, once you polish off that bottle of wine, save it! It can be transformed into a torch or a light source for your backyard. You can also use recycled glass to create a beautiful backsplash in your outdoor kitchen.