We finally hung our patio lights (old-fashioned looking LED lights) on our back porch. It was something we had talked about when we first found our home, we just had not gotten it done yet. When we bought our home, one of our prerequisites was a patio that we could use in the afternoons and evenings which meant it could not face west. Any western exposure in Oklahoma tends to get pretty hot on summer afternoons. Fortunately, our patio faces south which offers us magnificent views of the Oklahoma sunsets, like the picture I took from my back porch one evening. Our south-facing patio also provides plenty of shade for most of our south facing windows. However, (you knew this was coming, didn’t you?) we did not take into account the strong Oklahoma winds that come sweeping down the plains!
And boy, do we get some doozey winds across our backyard. Winds so strong they bent my metal dragonfly yard art. Needless to say, we are paying a lot more attention to placement of things in the backyard now. Hanging the patio lights required some extra reinforcement to ensure they do not flail around in the winds. Mission accomplished!
Check out the Green Gab podcast Where a Home Lives for tips about a home and the place where a home is.
Every home has a place, literally, where it sits. The land a home sits on and how the home interacts with the land and the land with the home, determines a lot of things, some good and some not so good. For instance, in my home’s case, we only have one window on the north side. It happens to be in my office, so on cold mornings, I will often leave the blinds closed until the sun warms things up a bit. Matter of fact, I use blinds and thermal curtains to help control heat and light throughout my home. It’s an inexpensive way to cut glare and drafts. It also makes for some great sleep when you need a little extra shut-eye!
There is a myriad of details in a home and how it is placed on the land that can be improved, often with do-it-yourself solutions. Understanding the placement of a home and what that means for comfort and usability can help direct improvements. For more ideas, check out my book Living Green Effortlessly: Simple Choices for a Better Home – now available on Kindle®!
The place where your home is matters too.
The place where your home is also means the land itself and what is on it. We don’t get as much rain in Oklahoma yet when it rains, we often get a lot, sometimes leaving big puddles throughout our yard. Keeping some of the storm water on property helps to ease the load on storm water infrastructure. We are ordering our first rain barrel to use a little of that rain water in the garden. We’ve talked about a rain garden as well and that may be our project for next year.
And what would land be without landscaping. For most homes, landscaping includes lawns, although lawns are being re-thought more and more. Lawns require time, money, water, chemicals and energy to encourage plants to grow so they can be mowed down. Many homeowners/residents are choosing to have more garden space, including edible gardens and native plants, and less lawn. Native plants are a great choice for a landscape as they thrive in the natural elements and rainfall patterns. Just search online for native plants and landscaping to find what works in your area. If you can’t go native, go regionally appropriate. Add colorful flowers to bring in the birds and butterflies or go so far as a butterfly and/or bird garden, or even a wildlife garden.
Celebrate what you can do!
Ready for more? Listen to the Green Gab podcast Where a Home Lives and check out the show notes for a list of resources to get started.
Join Marla and Tony on The Green Gab Podcast on Apple Podcasts (iTunes) and get the gab with us as we share what we’ve done, as well as tips for greening up your home, your job, your family and your life! Get in on the gab for why green matters.
Get Marla’s book Living Green Effortlessly: Simple Choices to a Better Home.
I’d love to speak at your next event – for ideas check out my speaking information. Thank you and have a blessed day.