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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Green Living: Lawn and Garden

Resources to help you green your home and make better environmental decisions.

About Green Landscaping

Landscaping and gardening are resource intensive because of the water and chemicals they need. The tips and resources here will help you maintain an eco-friendly, attractive yard.

Rethink Your Landscaping

  • Rethink lawn care
    • Don't water/turn off sprinklers if it's going to rain.
    • Water grass early in the morning.
    • Replant grass in fall or spring
  • Incorporate native plants that don't require as much watering.
  • Install a rain barrel to collect water for your plants
  • Avoid using leaf blowers and other dust-producing equipment.
  • Use an electric (or person powered) lawnmower instead of a gas-powered one.
  • Leave grass clippings on the yard. They decompose and return nutrients to the soil.
  • Use recycled wood chips (or recycled newspaper) as mulch to keep weeds down, retain moisture and prevent erosion.
  • Use only the required amount of fertilizer or make your own by starting a compost pile.
  • Minimize pesticide use or use as many natural alternatives as you can.
  • Create a wildlife habitat in your yard.
  • Rent or borrow items like ladders, chain saws, party decorations and others that are seldom used.

Library Resources

Below are DVDs and books that can help you green your yard. Locate other materials in your local library's catalog by searching for the following:

  • Gardening -- Environmental aspects
  • Lawns -- Environmental aspects