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Tuesday, April 5, 2022

3 Hacks for an Earth Friendly Outdoor Living Space

When some homeowners think about backyard sustainability, they might imagine some seemingly impossible demands, like never using the garden hose again or turning their yard into a field of wildflowers. While reducing water use and gardening with native plants are ecologically sound practices, earth-friendly outdoor living should encompass all parts of a backyard—from sustainable building materials to water-wise landscaping to low-impact lighting. Here are three straightforward ways homeowners can create an environmentally friendly outdoor living space without sacrificing an ounce of luxury.

1. Switching to sustainable lighting

2. Using recycled materials like steel

3. Creating a shaded oasis


1. Switching to sustainable lighting

One of the easiest first steps to a sustainable backyard is to install LED lighting on a deck. LED lights are up to 80 percent more energy efficient than traditional lighting. Not only will this translate to lower energy bills, it can also help minimize greenhouse gas emissions by almost half a ton per bulb. Select manufacturers also offer downward-facing accent deck lights that comply with Dark Skies Initiatives. These initiatives reduce light pollution that affects migration patterns of birds and butterflies as well as the natural lifecycles of fireflies.

LED deck lighting turn on at dusk

2. Using recycled materials like steel…

Creating an ecofriendly outdoor living space includes building with green materials. While traditional wood may seem like the most sustainable building material, its yearly upkeep requires toxic chemicals that can end up in groundwater. These chemicals also prevent traditional wood decking and fencing from being recycled when they eventually need replacing. Steel products, like Fortress Building Products’ steel deck framing and sustainable deck railing, only require soap and water for their routine maintenance, so they are safe for the environment. Further, these long-lasting and durable outdoor living solutions are recycled and fully recyclable, reducing the energy and water needed to produce them.

3. Creating a shaded oasis with a steel pergola

During the summer months, energy consumption can skyrocket as homeowners crank up the air conditioning to keep the indoors comfortable. Creating a shaded area with a steel pergola can offer some relief from the heat while giving AC units a chance to rest. When faced properly, these open structures let breezes roll through their shade-dappled interiors to mellow even the hottest days. Plus, steel pergolas provide all the same ecological benefits of sustainable steel deck framing.

Freestanding steel pergola

Outdoor living products that fortify the future

Answering the question, "how can an outdoor space be sustainable," requires looking beyond landscaping. Because all the elements of a backyard can help create an ecofriendly outdoor living space, homeowners should consider each feature from manufacturing to upkeep and replacement.

Fortress Building Products uses sustainable manufacturing and packaging that reduces Styrofoam. Steel and aluminum solutions from Fortress® are quick to install and can be maintained for years with little environmental impact. They can also be recycled at the end of their service life to reduce waste. These are just a few of the ways Fortress is fortifying the future and proving sustainability does not have to skimp on style.


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