Deep ocean blues. Golden sunset on the marsh. White sandy beaches. Pops of yellows, pinks, and purples from native flowers. Everywhere you look, the Gulf of Mexico and surrounding coastline offers inspiration for both interior designs and the landscape around our homes.
Looking for ways to craft the look and feel for your home and gardens that appeals to the senses and is good for the Gulf? Look no further. Use the following home and garden ideas to create an oasis that keeps on giving to you and the environment.
- Fill your yard with native plants. These species provide food for pollinators, attract birds and butterflies to your yard, and they generally require less watering, pesticides, and fertilizer.
- Reduce your runoff. Installing rain barrels, rain gardens, and reducing the amount of paved surface near your home can help keep chemicals in your yard from reaching nearby wetlands. Rain barrels are great for collecting rain water that can be used later to water your lawn or wash your car. Rain gardens are low areas in your landscape filled with water-loving plants that collect extra water when it rains.
- Renovate with storms in mind. Strengthening your home during construction, remodeling, and re-roofing not only keeps your assets protected, it prevents storm debris.
- Live near the water? Consider a living shoreline. Living shorelines use natural materials to stabilize the soil and keep your shoreline from washing away while also allowing marsh grasses to grow and creating habitat for fish and wildlife.
- Go non-toxic with your pesticides and fertilizers. Don’t spray your lawn on windy or rainy days, which ends up washing chemicals into our waterways.
- If you are going to fertilize, use non-nitrogen lawn supplements. Excess nutrients in the water can promote algae growth, which is bad for people and marine life.
- Start a compost pile. You’ll keep trash out of the landfill and it’s a great way to nourish your garden.
Learn more about ways to create an eco-friendly home and garden by following our “Get into the Gulf” social media campaign on Facebook and Instagram or visit https://www.fws.gov/earthday/ecotips.
– Amanda Nalley