9 Green Garden-Product Alternatives
Try these more environmentally friendly tools and products to make your yard a little greener.
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Electric Landscape Lights
Electric landscape lights come in a wide range of styles, sizes, and prices. While they're relatively easy to install, they still require electricity.
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Solar Landscape Lights
Solar landscape lights have come a long way in recent years. They're now available in a wide range of styles, sizes, and prices. They're also more reliable than they used to be; high-quality lights can continue casting a friendly glow all through the night.
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There are a wide variety of traditional fertilizers on the market -- one for just about every kind of plant, it seems. While they may work great, many only feed your plants and not the soil.
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Fertilizers made from organic matter can do double duty -- they give your plants the nutrients they need, and the products also improve your soil over time. Look for an ever-growing variety of natural fertilizers at your local garden center.
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A lot of hummingbird feeders are made from plastic. While they're common and inexpensive, they'll never naturally decompose should they happen to break.
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Thanks to growing environmental awareness, a variety of hummingbird feeders are made from recycled materials such as glass. This helps stop materials from going into landfills in the first place.
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Fountains instantly add ambience to any landscape with the gentle sound of moving water. Many common fountains are electric, so they cost money as well as use up natural resources.
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Solar fountains make it easy -- you don't have to worry about dealing with electricity around water. Or how much the fountain is costing you to run. A number of manufacturers now make solar-powered fountains.
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One of the things we like least about having to mow the lawn is the noisy, smelly lawn mower (and having to run to the gas station to get gas for it).
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Today's reel mowers aren't like what you might remember from Grandma's days. The ultra-sharp blades make clean cuts and the machines are lightweight (many less than 80 pounds) so they're a breeze to push through the yard (if you don't let your grass get too long).
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Though quality "virgin" vinyl lattice is virtually carefree as long as it lives, once it breaks it's probably going to be destined for the landfill.
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Bamboo is the ultimate "green" choice because the fast-growing plant matures in about three years, decomposes at the end of its life, and requires minimal fertilization or pesticides.
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Leaf blowers, chainsaws, and string trimmers can make gardening a lot easier -- except when you have to keep them filled with gas and put up with the smell of exhaust or working around an extension cord.
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Battery-powered tools make the job a lot easier: You never have to run to the gas station or navigate around an extension cord. Plus, battery-powered versions tend to be quieter to operate.
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Many outdoor rugs are made from acrylic yarn. This gives them the ability to hold up well to the elements, but they're not the most environmentally friendly choice.
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Today, high-quality and fashionable outdoor rugs can be made from any number of materials. For example, this beautiful rug is actually made from recycled plastic bottles.
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Sprinklers are great to play in, but they can be wasteful, especially on hot and sunny or windy days. Research shows that up to 40 percent of the water can evaporate before it even reaches your plants -- which is a waste of water and money.
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Soaker hoses save water -- and water bills -- because they slowly release water into the soil instead of letting the moisture evaporate into the air. For an even greener spin, look for soaker hoses made from recycled rubber. Note: Soaker hoses aren¿t pretty, but you can keep them from being a distraction in your garden by covering them with mulch.