Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sustainable Patios

With summer only here a great way to enjoy your yard is by building a patio.
Patios can be made from a number of different types of materials but one of the greenest options is permeable pavers.

Permeable pavers are porous blocks that allow water to filter through to the ground.

Our favorite brand, Nicolock, ( offers a few different "green" options: Eco-ridge, SF Rima, Checker Block and Turfstone

These pavers work by allowing water to seep through to the ground, filtering it through the aggregate beneath. This helps reduce the risk of run-off and flooding. Some of these pavers, like Turfstone, even allow grass to grow through the pavers, further aiding in soil stability and helping to prevent erosion. If the grass look is not what you want, pavers like Eco-Ridge and SF Rima give a more traditional look with similar benefits.

In addition to preventing erosion, having a patio reduces the need for lawn watering, reducing water useage. It also decreases the area that needs mowing, which, if you are using an electric mower, reduces carbon emissions.

To complete your eco-friendly patio try adding local plants to your landscaping, Summer vegetable gardens also help you reduce your carbon foot print and your grocery bill at the same time!

You can also buy patio furniture made of sustainable or recycled materials. Bamboo is a sustainable wood that would be ideal for a tropical themed patio. There are also a wide variety of furniture made from recycled materials.

There are so many options out there to help make your patio something that is good for the earth and for your soul!

Monday, April 19, 2010

How to Make Your Landscape Green!

At Green Future Construction our goal is to beautify your house, while at the same time minimizing negative impacts on the environment. There are several ways that you can help reduce damage to our environment while still getting the gorgeous yard that you desire. Here are some great ideas that you should consider when redesigning your landscape to make you yard more eco-conscious and in some cases save you money in the long run.

1. Plant shade trees which will help keep your house cool in the summer, reducing the cost of air conditioning for more information click here.

2. Develop a smart irrigation system that is efficient and uses less water, choose low-water use plants, and create water-wise garden designs.

3. Choose your plants wisely. Stick with native vegetation, which require less maintenance and are more beneficial to the other inhabitants of our environment.

4. Plant large pine trees in the north and west, which help reduce heating costs by blocking cold winter winds.

5. Use solar powered landscaping lights when illuminating your outdoor space to cut back on energy costs.

6. Ask your landscaper about organic and natural landscaping products, compost service and organic pesticides can be used to reduce toxic waste in our environment.

7. Reduce your lawn area. Lawns use a large amount of water and energy to maintain, not to mention the time it takes to mow them. Contact us to find out options that reduce your lawn area while maintaining your yard’s beauty.

8. Include plants that enhance the wildlife habitat and provide homes for native birds and beneficial insects.. Select native trees with flowers, fruits or berries. Hummingbirds love trumpet vines and other plants will attract butterflies and ladybugs.

9. Plant a natural vegetable garden as a way to reduce grocery costs and create a sustainable landscape. Ask about our garden planning services.

10. Use sustainable materials such as weed trees for construction and permeable pathways to allow for natural water flow and better irrigation.

Green Construction