According to the 2017 Great Australian Backyard Survey by Adbri Masonry, 36 per cent of Australians stated that ‘it was very important to consider sustainability throughout their home improvement projects’.
“From design, construction and implementation, the overall goal is to conserve water and energy whilst reducing waste. In order to achieve these goals, choose products that promote economic viability and focus on long-term benefits,” says landscape expert and Adbri Masonry brand ambassador, Jason Hodges.
Jason Hodges is Australia’s well-loved celebrity landscaper, most notably seen on the Channel Seven lifestyle TV show Better Homes & Gardens. Jason is also a four-time Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (MIFGS) Gold medallist.
Jason’s tips for an eco-friendly, functional and cost-effective backyard:
The horticultural industry uses innovation of design when it comes to water catchment and reuse. It is important to treat water as a valuable source and opt for a water tank, as this helps with catchment and offers the ability to reuse – such as for watering the garden or washing cars.
An important part of sustainable landscaping comes down to the selection of plants. Aim to preserve existing plants or if you’re purchasing new ones, visit a nursery, which encourages more plants to go in the ground and helps to increase the level of planting across the community. “Natives and drought resistant plants are great because they help to reduce the use of water. Look beyond cactus plants and opt for Agave’s that are drought tolerant, says Jason. “Plants can also act as windbreakers, saving on heating costs in winter, along with being able to shade the home in summer.”
Be mindful of what organic soil mixes and mulch you use, as the quality will help to give substance. A great way to improve soil structure is by having a compost bin. By composting, you will produce organic and rich soil that helps increase infiltration, permeability and a positive plant root environment. It is an easy and practical way to recycle your kitchen and yard waste, helping to minimise the amount of waste that enters landfills. Mix it into the garden soil, sprinkle on the lawn and use it around garden beds as mulch.
It is important to recycle as often as possible, and when renovating or building your home, try to take left over scraps and materials to level out other areas. Reusing old bricks is a great way to create a new feature without adding to landfill. Adbri Masonry’s concrete besser blocks are made of recycled materials and are not prone to white ants or rotting, which means they won’t need to be replaced and will last a lifetime.
Permeable PavingUsing an environmentally friendly, eco permeable paver allows surface water runoff to infiltrate through the pavement surface, through the sub base below where it can be harvested or more commonly, returned to the natural water table at a controlled rate. This is as opposed to hitting the impervious surface, running into gutters and causing downstream problems like pollution and flooding.
“Permeable paving is an essential choice if your driveway runs down to your house. Adbri Masonry’s Ecopave is an ideal solution for creating a sustainable driveway and is low maintenance as the pavers expand and contract within the seasons, so they’re less likely to crack,” says Jason.
Tip: Some councils will credit permeable pavements as a percentage of soft landscape area on your parcel of land.
For more information visit www.adbrimasonry.com.au