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  • Writer's pictureLyssa Baldwin

Building for Tomorrow: Sustainability in Your Backyard

As time has progressed, eventually we've realized that sustainability should become more of a priority to the human race. When it comes to building decks and patio covers, there is an abundance of sustainable options that can reduce environmental impact and contribute to a greener future! In this post we'll explore insights and ideas for those looking to create outdoor spaces that harmonize with the environment!


Choosing Eco- Friendly Materials



The first step toward a sustainable deck or patio cover is selecting environmentally friendly materials. Opt for certified wood from responsibly managed forests, or consider composite materials made from recycled content. These choices not only conserve natural resources but also promote the use of recycled materials, reducing waste.


Recycling Materials


Recycling is one of the easiest ways to practice sustainability.


Whether it's your own private home improvement project, or something as big as building decking, walkways, patio covers, shades, pergolas, or balconies, picking recycled materials can certainly make a difference.


Consider incorporating reclaimed or recycled materials into your project. Salvaged wood, repurposed metal, or recycled plastics can give your deck or patio cover a unique character while diverting materials from landfills.


Composite Decking - Trex



Explore the benefits of composite decking, which is often made from a combination of recycled plastic and wood fibers. Not only does this option prevent deforestation, but it also minimizes the need for regular maintenance, such as staining or sealing, reducing the use of harmful chemicals.


Trex is a company that manufactures composite. Their eco-friendly decks are made from an innovative blend of 95% recycled plastic film and reclaimed sawdust. On top of that, their company uses extremely earth-friendly manufacturing processes, and actively reclaim factory waste and eliminate the use of harmful chemicals.


As one of the largest plastic film recyclers in the U.S., Trex recycling saves 1 billion+ pounds of plastic film and reclaimed wood from landfills each year.

  • A standard 16-foot Trex board contains recycled material from approximately 2,250 plastic bags.

  • The average 500 square-foot composite Trex deck contains more than 140,000 recycled plastic bags, films, and wraps.

  • The entire high-performance Trex decking portfolio is manufactured using more than 95% recycled content.


Zion Builders are partnered with Trex as Platinum Level Installers - we are the only ones in the area! See our other blog posts or contact us to learn what it means to be a Platinum Level Installer!


Sustainable Design Practices



Optimizing the design of your deck or patio cover can contribute to sustainability! How can you do that? Well, here are some things to consider:


Lighting


You can strategically position the structure to maximize natural light and ventilation, reducing the need for artificial lighting and cooling.


You can further illuminate your outdoor space with energy-efficient lighting solutions. LED fixtures, powered by solar or low-voltage systems, not only minimize energy consumption but also add a touch of modern elegance to your sustainable sanctuary.


Water


You can be thoughtful of water runoff in your backyard. Notice where water tends to collect in your yard. Implement water management strategies to reduce water consumption. Consider permeable pavers or decking materials that allow rainwater to penetrate the ground, minimizing runoff. Additionally, incorporate rain barrels or a greywater system for irrigation to further conserve water resources.


Air Quality


One of the best ways to improve air quality is to include lots of greenery in your backyard design. Plants will not only provide shade, but clear up air quality, and cool any space down. Plants can make a bigger impact than you think. NASA themselves conducted experiments and concluded that plants really do help to purify the air and can extract toxins from it.


Maintenance-Free Decking



Choose materials and finishes that require minimal maintenance. This not only saves you time and effort but also reduces the need for harsh chemicals that could harm the environment.


Maintenance-free decking isn't just a convenience; it's a lifestyle upgrade. As you explore the world of innovative materials and design options, you'll find that a stunning, hassle-free deck is within reach. Choosing materials that don't require seasonal staining and sealing will not only save you time and money but will be better for the environment. You can simply avoid the harsh chemicals sometimes contained in wood stains and finish products.


I'll circle back to Trex decking for a moment. Trex decking is completely maintenance free. It does not warp, splinter, or have any seasonal staining requirements. If you're looking for maintenance-free decking that is eco-friendly, Trex is the way to go!


Conclusion


Building decks and patio covers sustainably isn't just a trend; it's a commitment to a greener, healthier planet. By making conscious choices in materials, design, and construction methods, you can create an outdoor space that not only reflects your style but also contributes to the global effort to protect our environment. So, embark on your sustainable journey and let your deck or patio cover be a beacon of eco-conscious living.


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