Plants & Pets
Looking for ways to make your balcony spacious and green? If you want to make it environment-friendly without spending too much, you can follow these simple steps. Going green is actually inexpensive and easy too. Let us start with the basics–what does it even mean to be eco-friendly? Anything that is not harmful to the environment is considered eco-friendly. Eco-friendly balconies use sustainable materials, renewable energy, and, typically, lots of nature.
Many advantages come with having an eco-friendly balcony. Low maintenance, energy and water preservation, health improvement, long-term cost reduction, and environmental improvements are all amazing benefits; however, there are some disadvantages to taking the eco-friendly route. Although going eco-friendly can save you money in the long run, it costs money to save money. Also, it is more time-consuming to incorporate environmentally-safe equipment into your balcony. However, in the long run, it is worthy to invest.
Start building your green balcony by coming up with a design plan. This plan will help you go about creating your eco-friendly balcony step by step. It also makes sure your vision for your balcony and the lawn landscape align to get you to your goal. The first thing you should do when making your design plan is to create a list of “must-haves” and “wants”. Your “must-haves” list will be things you will not compromise on including in your green balcony. Your “wants” list are things that you want in your balcony space but are willing to give up if need be. Coming up with these lists will help you determine whether you need to hire landscaping professionals to set up utilities or run pipelines and electricity lines. The overall design plan lays out exactly what will be included within your green balcony so you can tackle it one aspect at a time.
Some other things to consider adding to your green balcony include a wooden pergola for some all-natural shade, a pond for a truly earthy aura, and even trees to make the space seem larger because if it can fit a tree, what can it not fit? We also recommend not just adding solar-powered lights, but actual solar panels. Incorporating solar panels within your eco-friendly balcony not only benefits your balcony space but your entire home. As we said, they are a bit pricey to set up, but they save you lots of money in the long run. They can power your entire balcony which is the ultimate eco-friendly feature you can add to your balcony.
Choose sustainable materials: Sustainable products are products created from recycled materials that do not harm the environment throughout their life cycle–which is until they are recycled into something else. Sustainable materials suitable for your balcony could be things such as artificial grass, stainless steel, aluminum, reclaimed or FSC-certified wood, or anything made from recycled materials.
Select ecofriendly balcony furniture: Let us face it, your balcony is not truly “eco-friendly” if everything in it isn’t, including furniture. The good thing is that nowadays, companies are making more of an effort to produce furniture that built to last. Teak and eucalyptus are common eco-friendly balcony furniture options due to their durability, strength, and aesthetic appeal. However, furniture made of stainless steel, aluminum, and synthetic wicker is considered eco-friendly as well. Keep in mind that not all synthetic wicker is eco-friendly so do some finding out before investing. You can also refurbish thrifted furniture. Repurposing existing furniture helps the environment by preventing new furniture from being made just to sit in it.
Invite nature to be your decorations: Using nature to decorate your balcony embodies the idea of being “eco-friendly”. By using natural resources to decorate, you limit the amount of non-biodegradable products being produced in the environment. Choose plants that match your colour palette, incorporate a stone or dirt walkway throughout your balcony space, and even add a small pond-if possible- within your eco-friendly balcony to emphasize the connection with nature. When planting flowers in your eco-friendly balcony, it is best to use plants native to your area. By decorating using local plants, you cut down on your water usage since they thrive in their native environment. You also reduce the amount of unnatural gas being released into the air caused by foreign plant transportation. You could also spruce up your eco-friendly balcony by starting a kitchen garden. It adds colour, saves you money, and saves the environment by reducing the number of people buying fruits and vegetables grown using pesticides and unnatural fertilizers. Synthetic grass is also a great “green” option to add to your eco-friendly balcony. The fact that it is synthetic reduces your water usage throughout the year, and it keeps your area looking perfect all year long.
Choose clean-energy powering or energy-saving lighting: When it comes to choosing eco-friendly lighting for your balcony, it is very easy. Just choose LED or solar-powered lights. These types of lights do not emit any gases into the atmosphere which is saving the environment. The benefits of LED lighting are that they use less electricity than conventional light bulbs, and they have a longer lifespan. LED lights are your best option when it comes to lighting large areas or places where the sun doesn’t shine. Solar-powered lights are also a great option for your balcony because they are completely eco-friendly. They don’t use any electricity which is great for your electric bill, and they can be used as long as they get enough sunlight. They provide your balcony with a warm, soft, and homey feel. The only downside is that the light they emit is inconsistent and doesn’t last late into the night or early morning.
Collect rain water with barrels: Collecting rainwater using barrels is a great way to cut down your water consumption and water bill by reducing the amount of tap water you use. You can repurpose this collected water and use it to water the plants within your eco-friendly balcony. Incorporating a barrel into your balcony space also adds a touch of rustic style to your outdoor living area.
Upcycle the waste products: There are many different ways you can go about upcycling within your eco-friendly balcony. We recommend adding different compost bins to reduce the amount of waste you are releasing back into the environment. Also, by adding a compost pile, you reduce your food waste and create nutrient-rich soil for your growing plants and vegetables.
Building a beautiful balcony can add a lot of style and personality to your home. By making it eco-friendly you’re not only helping the environment, but you’re putting your values into your home. You now have all the information you need to go about creating your green balcony. Good luck with building the eco-friendly balcony of your dreams.