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Now that spring is on the horizon, are you considering doing some major landscaping on your property this year? If so, it’s a good idea to plan ahead of time on how you can make your project more sustainable. After all, it only makes sense for your outdoor project to be environmentally conscious. Here are some essential tips for making your landscaping more environmentally friendly.

Work with compost.

Compost, of course, is one of the simplest ways you can reuse food waste and other decomposable waste (such as leaves and lawn trimmings). And composting is easier than you might think. Starting a compost pile in your yard is as simple as purchasing a compost bin, filling it with green waste and brown waste, mixing the materials, and then letting the pile decompose over the course of several weeks. You’ll have to turn the pile every week or two, but that’s about it. Your end result will be a rich, dark compost that you can use to boost your gardening and landscaping efforts. There are a myriad of composting tutorials online—just find one that works best for you.

Use runoff water to water plants.

Here’s a great way to conserve water. If you water plants frequently, consider investing in a rain barrel, which you can position directly below a rain spout to collect runoff rain water. You can use this runoff water to water your garden and other plants.

Make your lawn smaller.

Keeping grass green drains a lot of resources very quickly. For a better use of resources, consider making your lawn smaller and expanding garden beds and stone installations in your yard. This will make for a more natural landscape that requires less use of water and chemicals.

Plant shade trees.

Here’s a tip that proves especially useful for homeowners in the Las Vegas area. Consider planting shade trees near your home to reduce air conditioning costs significantly during the summer. (Just be sure to check with a contractor first to make sure the tree you plant won’t interfere with your home’s plumbing system.)

For project waste, rent a dumpster from a sustainable company.

Landscaping and tree trimming projects produce an unexpectedly large amount of debris and waste. Renting a dumpster can help you manage all of this waste, and if you work with a company that is committed to sustainability, you can rest assured that much of your waste will be used to fill a need once again. Here at Western Elite, for example, 100 percent of the materials we remove from residential and commercial sites goes to 393,000 square-foot site, which includes a material recovery facility. From there, we divert a large portion of the recyclable material from collected waste, significantly reducing what ends up in a landfill.