6 Valuable Tips for Eco-Friendly Outdoor Design

Australia is the lucky country. We’re blessed with an incredibly temperate climate. Our winters aren’t too harsh and our summers are the envy of the world. In short, we’re fortunate enough to sustain an outdoors lifestyle almost all year round.

But to really appreciate what we’ve got, it’s important we also take care of it. In a land prone to droughts and heavily impacted by climate change, more and more people are keen to minimise their impact on the earth even as they beautify it. And to do it, they’re turning to sustainable gardening.

What is sustainable gardening?

Having a sustainable garden is about having a garden that can take care of itself. Here are just a few goals to making your garden more environmentally focused.

  • Reduce water consumption
  • Avoid pesticides and fertilisers that can end up in our waterways
  • Prevent soil erosion
  • Conserve natural resources
  • Promote biodiversity

As a bonus, an eco-friendly garden is almost always low maintenance, since you want it to be self-sustaining. That means less work and plenty more play. Sustainable and low maintenance – sounds too good to be true, right?

Today, there are hundreds of clever ideas out there to incorporate more eco-friendly approaches in your backyard landscape design. We’ve picked just a few of the best and simplest things you can do to make your garden more sustainable.

Top Tips to Green Your Garden

1. Remove natural grass

Natural grass is arguably the biggest water guzzler in your garden. Plus gas-fuelled lawnmowers emit a fair amount of pollution. Even electric mowers use up energy resources.

Instead of spending all summer diminishing the water reserves to keep the lawn lush, consider minimising the amount of grass on your property. You can do this by either replacing your natural grass with an artificial lawn that needs no further maintenance or by creating more garden beds.

2. Hard-scape your backyard

To follow on from the point above, lessen the amount of natural grass you have in your home by hard-scaping your backyard. If grass takes up great swathes of your current garden, you may want to replace it with alternative surfaces that don’t consume water and fertilisers, such as concrete, timber decking, stone pavers, or more.

3. Go native

A tried and tested way of eco-landscaping your garden is by mimicking your natural surrounds. Building a backyard that pays tribute to the local environment is a sure-fire way of guaranteeing a backyard that will deliver long-term benefits. Our native plants guide can even help you to choose the RIGHT plant.


Native plants have adapted to the local climate, which means they’ll be hardy in times of drought, frost, floods, and more. Keep in mind ecosystems vary across Australia, so plants native to the Queensland tropics are unlikely to survive in Victoria without persistent care.

The best way to ensure you’ve got the right indigenous flora for your backyard is to visit an indigenous plant nursery near you. These nurseries tend to sell a huge range of native plants that proliferate in your neighbourhood.

The best thing about native plants is that once they’re in the ground, they’re virtually ready to flourish unassisted, which means you’re building yourself a beautiful native garden that will thrive well into the future regardless of the effort you put into it.

4. Compost

We tend to go for the easy fix by buying fertilisers from our local hardware store. Yet we can actually create our own nutrient-rich soil using homemade compost. All you need to do is collect food scraps from your kitchen and organic materials from your garden and you’ll have healthy fertiliser in no time.

Composting is great. You’re getting much more out of your grocery purchases by eating your fruit and veg, reusing the scraps, reducing waste, and saving money!


5. Create plant groups according to their needs

Known as zoning or xeriscaping, this is a trend that’s sweeping the globe. Zoning is about gathering together plant groups according to their various maintenance needs.

The idea is simple. Keep plants that need plenty of watering apart from those more drought-resistant and you can water your garden accordingly, giving extra-special attention only to those portions of the garden that need it. It’s a fantastic way of minimising water wastage!

6. Choose energy-efficient outdoor lights

We’ve all replaced the light globes around our home with more energy-efficient alternatives, but have you thought about your outdoor lighting system?

Today there are plenty of options for eco-friendly lighting solutions. Whether you’re lining the driving and walkways, illuminating your front and back entrances, or creating mood lighting, consider solar powered or LED lights over older alternatives.

Want more ideas?

At Australian Outdoor Living, we love to share the latest trends and advice on keeping your backyard looking fab. Click below for more resources that might take your interest:


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About Alex Kuchel

This is Alex. Alex is the National Brand Manager at Australian Outdoor Living (AOL). By day, she’s a member of AOL’s marketing team. She helps to conjure up ideas on how best to promote Australian Outdoor Living and enjoys working with a pretty awesome team of clever cookies. By night (and weekends), she enjoys the company of her family and friends. She’s a big believer in sun shine and does her best to enjoy it with those she loves most.”