In Your Yard
In addition to practicing a sustainable lifestyle in your home and daily activities, there are many things you can do in your own backyard to promote sustainability. Since we live in a desert environment, some of these are especially important.
Convert your grass to desert (xeriscape) landscaping. Each square foot of grass that is replaced with water-smart trees or shrubs saves an average of 55 gallons of water per year! Visit the Southern Nevada Water Authority web site at www.snwa.com for information and rebates for converting your turf to xeriscape.
Use low-volume drip irrigation for your trees, shrubs and groundcovers instead of spray irrigation to save water. Spray irrigation is prone to faster evaporation, whereas drip irrigation soaks into the soil where it’s needed!
Start a compost heap. Composting yard waste like leaves or grass clippings as well as organic household waste items like fruits and vegetables not only reduces the amount of trash going into our landfills, but also creates an inexpensive, organic soil amendment you can use in your yard!
Start your own garden. Many fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices do well in our climate. You can grow your own “organic” produce!
The Backyard Oasis
Shade your yard for relief from the summer heat. Strategically place awnings, patio covers, pergolas and other shade structures to create your own backyard getaway. Placing shade structures over windows will also reduce the amount of heat entering your home, increasing your comfort and reducing your utility bills!
Many residents of Southern Nevada have pools to cool off during our hot summer months. If you have a pool, cover it with an appropriate pool cover when not in use to keep debris out of the pool and to reduce the amount of water lost to evaporation. Visit the Southern Nevada Water Authority web site at www.snwa.com for pool cover rebates!
Practice organic gardening. Harsh chemical fertilizers and insecticides may get the job done, but they can be dangerous to your health and the health of your children and pets, not to mention. In addition, many of those chemicals can make their way into the ground water and back to Lake Mead, affecting many species along the way. Instead, use organic fertilizer such as manure or compost, and organic pest control practices, many of which can be found on the internet.