Despite the point of patios being outdoors and close to nature, those areas aren’t always the most eco-friendly places. With their plastic furniture and concrete paving slabs, they can be the complete opposite. Even how we spend our time on the patio has an impact on the environment, from the way we cook outdoors to the lighting or utensils we use.
Here are 8 easy to implement eco-ideas for creating the perfect patio where you can relax, enjoy nature, and entertain friends without harming the environment.
Build your Patio with Green Materials
If you don’t already have a patio area and are planning your dream outdoor dining area, then consider wood decking instead of paving. You can easily find recycled or reclaimed wood from lumber yards for your home projects.
Energy Efficient Outdoor Lighting
You want to enjoy your patio for as long as possible in the evenings, so outdoor lighting is necessary. The easiest way to make this eco-friendly is by getting rid of old strip lights or incandescent lamps and replacing them with LED or solar-powered lighting.
They are much more energy efficient, in fact, switching to LED bulbs can reduce your energy usage by at least 75% and up to 90%. Not only are they great for the environment but they will also save you money in the long run!
Repurposing and up-cycling old household items are a great way to decorate your patio in a unique, personal and green-friendly way. Old furniture can become a decorative planter, or an old battered table can be sanded down and varnished as a shabby-chic patio table. There are so many ways to recycle ‘junk’ and turn it into something pretty for your patio!
Disposable Wooden Tableware
When it comes to outdoor dining, you don’t always want to use your best china outside. You can still dress the table to impress your guests with disposable wooden tableware. WoodU offers an excellent range of elegant wooden utensils and wooden serving plates, dinner plates, and more.
Made from strong and sustainable birch wood, they are 100% natural, non-toxic and are suitable for use with any type of food. So, no matter what you decide to serve your guests on your patio, the wooden dinnerware won’t split, splinter, or wilt. They are the best alternative to harmful plastic utensils and are completely compostable after use.
Eco-friendly Outdoor Furniture
Your patio should be a place of comfort with furniture which can withstand being out of doors, but it should also be considerate to the environment. Check out yard sales for second-hand patio furniture which can be upcycled and save it from ending up in the landfill. If you want to buy new furniture, then you can find recycled plastic furniture or even better, look for FSC certified wood.
Enjoying your patio also means taking care of your garden and to keep your plants, trees, and flowers in tip-top shape, they need nutrients. The best and most eco-friendly way to feed your garden is with homemade ‘dark gold’ or compost. Starting your own compost bin/pile is easy and a great way to recycle home and kitchen waste. Cut down on landfill waste and save money on expensive garden feeders.
BBQs are a great way to spend quality time with family and friends, but to keep it green, steer clear of charcoal BBQs. Charcoal contains harmful additives and releases soot and carbon dioxide into the air.
Greener ways to grill include using natural lump coal, which acts the same as charcoal but is much cleaner and doesn’t have the harmful additives or chemicals; natural gas grills still use fuels but are still better than charcoal; or dome grills which keep in the heat to cook your food faster and use less fuel.
If you don’t BBQ very often, you can also find eco-friendly disposable and biodegradable BBQ grills made from cardboard or sustainable wood which are a much better alternative to the single-use aluminum trays.
Eco-Friendly Food Sticks
Food sticks are a useful utensil for serving any patio-party food. Choosing a disposable wooden food stick instead of plastic means you have a more versatile utensil. Wooden food sticks are heat resistant making them suitable for making tasty kebabs on the BBQ. You can also use them for cake pops, fruit skewers, or ice-treats without the fear of toxins leaching into the food.