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12 Eco-Friendly Ways to Transform Your Decking for Summer
There’s nothing quite like revamping and improving an area of your home. One of the greatest feelings is when you’re able to dust off your creative cap and start planning how you will transform your home. The possibilities are endless, and with the summer approaching, now is the perfect time to brighten up your space.
Spring and summer are the brightest and most exciting months of the year. The nights are longer, the weather is better, and the chance to feel the outdoor breeze against your body is delightful. With that summer excitement comes the chance to spend some time in your outdoor area. Whether you have a garden, a yard or something in between, as the sun comes out in 2021, you want to be able to relax in a pleasant, appealing area of your home.
The team at 4 Everdeck have set about putting together a list of 12 eco-friendly ways to transform your decking area into something new for the new year. Now is the best time to reshape your garden to make the most of the beautiful days when they come around in a few short months.
It is important to try and do as much as you can to reduce your carbon footprint. The environment is one of the greatest challenges facing our planet, and things will only change for the better if everybody pulls their weight. Businesses and individuals need to make their changes, regardless of how they make them.
Our list of eco-friendly tips to improve your garden area allows you to make easy changes that look great and are helpful to the environment. A great combo of things if we say so ourselves. So take a look through and choose a few that suit you. And in no time at all, your decking could look new, improved, and eco-friendly to boot.
1. Wine and dine by candlelight
One of the things about becoming more eco-friendly is questioning the decisions we made before. This is healthy but can leave behind a level of guilt.
But don’t let that stop you! When you’re outdoors at night, do you use electrical lights?
If you do, it’s worth remembering that you don’t need to. There are plenty of alternatives that can help make your decking look equally as beautiful.
Take candlelight, for example. There’s nothing that sets the mood more than candlelight. And much more than standard lighting, candles are as much about decoration as they are about lighting. Try and use candles to add that sparkle back to your decking.
2. Eco-friendly paint
You probably don’t think about how environmentally friendly your paint is, but now might be the time to do so. Sure, paint isn’t the world’s biggest problem, but new types are being created that are manufactured in more sustainable ways and that reduce mould, condensation and mildew in your home. This is handy when needing to heat your home to keep the mould at bay or stopping condensation building on your windows.
Using eco-friendly paint on your decking can help spruce it up and add a new flavour to your entire outdoor area. Choosing pastel colours for the summer will help add that bright spark to the entire area and will make your decking that little bit jazzier.
3. Plant a tree and create some shade
While the sun is the best part about summer, that doesn’t mean we want it all season long. When the temperature is at its hottest and the heat sears down, you need somewhere pretty to hide away and get a little shade.
That’s why this tip is so good – especially in the long term. Getting extra shade in your garden in the form of planting extra trees is a surefire way to stay cool during the hottest parts of the day.
Sure, trees take a while to grow to the heights, which is why you need to get planting now. You can, if you’re inpatient, buy trees that are already partly grown. These are more expensive than planting your own, but you’ll get the shade and beauty that little bit quicker.
4. Solar power-up
Solar power is no longer a thing of the future. Producing your energy from the power of the sun is something that can be done right now, and it doesn’t have to look out of place on your home or outside on your decking.
Whilst ideally, we would have our entire homes powered by solar, simply having your outdoor decking area lit and heated via solar panels is a great start. Solar panels now come in all forms, with units now looking like tiles and the usual dark, mechanical style.
Add these to your walls or roofing and start turning the sunlight outside your own home into your energy source.
5. Wicked, wonderful wildlife
Wildlife is the lifeblood of the entire planet, but there’s more out there in our neighbourhoods than you will realise. Anything from buzzing bees to boundless butterflies and beautiful birds – there’s plenty of local wildlife to support when you’re looking to reinvent your decking.
How about thinking of ways you can encourage your local wildlife to bloom?
There are loads of things you can do to help and ways which both don’t break the bank but also add to your decking design. These things can be as simple as adding bird feed hangers to encouraging insects by adding plenty more plants.
If you’re feeling particularly enthusiastic about this, why not find a way to manage and keep bees?
Bees are an important part of our ecosystem and need all the support they can get. There’s plenty of ways you can support the animal life around you that will make your garden area look beautiful and buzzing with life.
6. Herb garden decoration
Whilst this tip is a sustainable way to produce your herbs, the main element here is the decoration and beauty of having something so bright in your garden.
Growing your herbs is relatively easy. See our earlier tip about growing your veg, and you’re largely set. But this is also something you can do to get creative. You don’t simply need to grow your herbs in a standard pot on the side of your garden.
Why not build a herb stand yourself?
This can be done in a few ways. A bit of old wood, a pallet, an old wooden ladder – anything that you can jazz up and hang your bunches of herbs off is perfect here. You need to be able to create something that holds the herbs and looks creative. The world is your oyster here, so get your thinking cap on.
7. Radical rainwater
The biggest wastage mistake many makes are using their main water supply to keep their grass and plants hydrated. This creates extra cost and an extra strain on the water company resulting in possible shortages (in the summer). It regularly rains, so why don’t we utilise that? Creating an area on your decking for a water butt can benefit the environment and cut down your water bill.
This small area of aqua regeneration can be made beautiful by being creative. Water butts aren’t usually the prettiest things but adding plants and decorations nearby – or getting creative with paint – can transform a dull area of your decking into an environmentally exciting piece of kit.
8. Reduce energy use
Especially during the summertime, there is so much energy used outdoors. Whether that is lighting, water, electrical equipment or more, your garden will be using a lot more energy than you realise. Try and cut this down to become more eco-friendly. Using solar-powered lights or reducing the water you use are two simple, sure-fire ways to lower your carbon footprint. Reducing your energy doesn’t mean you need to sit in darkness. There are lots of solar-powered products that can keep your garden bright at night without the need to sap hours of electricity. And since we’re discussing solar power.
9. Refresh and reuse
Your home will house plenty of older ornaments and trinkets that you either no longer use or are falling a little flat and looking a little tired. Well, this is where you can revamp them to bring some added lift to your decking area. Old plates can make for good decoration, old pots and pans can double up as rustic plant pots, and with a dash of paint, you can jazz up even the most weathered old indoor furniture to become outdoor beauty. Tables, chairs – you name it. Refresh and reuse old items and give them a new lease of life.
10. Become your food source
Gone are the days when we must use the store for most of our food. I mean, sure, you’ll never stop yourself from shopping locally – it’s just far too convenient - but you can find ways to source some of your food for yourself – in the confines of your back garden.
Growing your veg has become accessible, easy, and popular. Anything from tomatoes, rhubarb, apples and more. All are easy to grow to cut down your carbon footprint and add a little more colour to your outdoor space. Most local stores now sell grow-your-own seeds for plenty of different veg plants. Invest in some of these, and your decking will become a beacon of self-sustaining edible excellence.
11. Local plant life from local sources
To cut down on your eco-footprint, be sure to buy local. Local garden centres are more likely to get their items from sources close by, cutting down the carbon footprint of your region. Not only is this good for your local businesses, but it is great for the environment.
Fewer transportation costs along the entire supply chain mean less pollution. And that continues if you’re travelling less to get to your new plant life. It is a win-win. Support the environment and support your local businesses. Encourage friends and family to do with, and we will soon be on to a winner.
12. Place yourself on a pallet (or a few!)
If you take time to stop and notice, you will see countless posts on social media and in adverts in local papers of people giving away old disused pallets. These are perfect for building your own unique and rustic seating areas on your decking scene.
It doesn’t matter what colour the pallets you find are. There’s nothing you can’t fix with a sanding machine and a bit of eco-friendly paint.
The great thing about this repurposing project is that you are recycling wood that would otherwise go to waste, and you’re getting some interesting furniture that you’ve built yourself from bits of scraps.
You’ve saved money and helped the environment. What is not to love?
About the author
Katie Myers is an English Literature graduate and writer at 4 Everdeck, an eco-friendly decking company based in South Africa. She creates a range of written and visual content on their blog on a wide range of topics, including gardening, landscaping, wildlife and the environment. When she isn’t writing content, she will be reading, running or buying new plants for her home.
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