We believe that every home improvement should reflect your style and personality. Whether you like the drama of fire bowls and waterfalls to surround your pool, or the simple tranquility of a natural swimming pond, your outdoor space’s aesthetics are decisions you don’t make lightly. This is your corner of paradise, so you want to do it right!
Designing a space that pays homage to sustainability is a trend more prevalent with each passing pool season. When you’re out enjoying the great outdoors, you may wish to give deference to Mother Nature when considering your exterior construction materials.
Porous Patio Materials
Concrete patios for example, are impervious to rainwater. Therefore, when it does rain, you’ll probably notice that the runoff from the patio has a hand in eroding your topsoil. So instead of traditional concrete, you can talk to your contractor about a more permeable solution. These different materials still form a solid surface but can soak up gallons of water, thereby maintaining the integrity of your yard’s dirt.
For a more nuanced effect, instead of a slab for your patio, you can purchase pavers that are porous. As an alternative to conventional grout, you can connect the pavers with grass or colored stones to elevate the surface to something really custom.
The experts at The Spruce recommend an additional solution. “Another intriguing product is Grasspave by Invisible Structures. Comprised of a grid of polymer cylinders, this paving material is rolled onto your yard like a carpet. It protects grass’s roots while preventing runoff and is even firm enough to park on.”
Sustainable Wood Decks
Decking is typically made of wood planking. However, if you’ve ever owned a deck made of wood then you know they are maintenance heavy and don’t age well. Vulnerable to everything from ice to termites, wood is not your most viable decking solution when it comes to sustainability or upkeep.
Today there is a wealth of composite decking options with planking fashioned from recycled plastics and wood fiber waste. You may also select from a wide variety of plastic lumber. Rendered from 100% recycled plastic it’s available in an array of colors and textures.
If you really want the natural look and feel of wood you can rely on the greenest possible lumber that’s either reclaimed from a demolition site or lumber that’s certified by an organization like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). They are a “not for profit organization which works to safeguard the world’s forests against deforestation and stripping. Wood products which are certified by the FSC are guaranteed to come from sustainable, socially responsible and wildlife-friendly forests.”
Environmentally Conscious Furniture
So now you’ve got the stage, you need to set it. Your most affordable option is to pick up patio furniture at garage or estate sales. The pieces may need repairs and/or restoration, but you’ll be salvaging existing furniture and giving it a new home.
If you’re prepared to spend, Citrus Sleep serves up the 10 Best Eco-Friendly, Natural and Organic Outdoor Furniture and Patio Products. Apparently, while teak is often a go-to material for its durability, it’s hewn from a tropical tree that requires a long growth cycle.
As an alternative, they recommend bamboo as “a rapidly renewable material that is a more eco-friendly material choice for your patio furniture.” They also showcase some chairs that are “constructed of sustainably harvested, eco-friendly eucalyptus. Plantations in Thailand which grow the wood are closely monitored and adhere to environmentally friendly, green and socially responsible standards.”
If you are looking to outfit your space as sustainably as possible, besides wood options, you can also consider furniture made from recycled plastics and polyresins for materials made of FSC High Density Polyethylene.
Inside or out, lighting is the element that makes a space shine. Beyond illumination, when artfully arranged you can highlight features of architectural interest and add to the overall ambiance of your outdoor entertainment center.
To be as socially conscious as possible, you can of course go with solar lighting. With a wide price range, easy installation, and a zero recurring cost they are the option to beat! The only caveat is that you will have limitations on placement as they won’t work in the shadier spots.
LED (light-emitting diode) lighting is your best all-around option. Available in all shapes and sizes you can light up the night from your backyard pool to your outdoor patio. LED light strings are also very versatile. You can adorn your favorite tree or crisscross them overhead for a festive look.
The cost savings over incandescent lighting is huge. For example, a 100-watt light bulb emits between 1,400 and 1,750 lumens. A 40-watt bulb produces about 450 lumens. An LED pool light that emits the same 1,400–1,750 lumens may use only 14–20 watts. The reduced heat generation also means it lasts longer.
With a combination of solar and LED lighting you can create beautiful effects that are energy efficient and cost effective.
Dining Al Fresco
Once you’ve installed an outdoor kitchen, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it! Whether your backyard aesthetic is relaxed or formal, you have a multitude of options for more conscious dining.
You can certainly spend money on biodegradable and disposable plates and flatware or something like this ramen bowl set made from 100% naturally grown plant material and free of everything from melamine to plastics.
But the biggest contribution you can make is likely one in which you are already participating. Just cutting out the styrofoam, and the plastic forks, and the endless supply of water bottles that are everywhere, will go a long way toward making the changes you want to make. Having a clearly marked recycle bin will take care of everything else.
Outdoor living and dining alongside a sparkling pool is one of life’s many pleasures. That lovely green space and all the green spaces everywhere can stay that way when a commitment to them is made.
Providing pool and home improvement loans since 1979, Lyon Financial loves backyard pools and eco-friendly design. We also love the difference we can make for your family by providing something that puts years of memories within reach. Call 877-754-5966 for more information about our personalized financing solutions.