Are you an environmentally responsible landscaper? It’s not something people often think about when they begin to dig up dirt and plant trees and bushes around their home. However, landscaping can have a profound impact on the local environs. Responsible landscaping ensures that your yard is enhancing the local area, rather than adversely affecting it.

For example: the total loss to the world economy as a result of invasive species is 5% of annual production. If you think about it, this is an incredibly large number — it’s billions of dollars. And some of it is the result of irresponsible landscaping.

How can you be responsible with your landscaping? Here are three tips.

1. Know What You’re Buying

Now that it’s possible to buy plants online and have them delivered within a few days, many homeowners will be tempted to fulfill some of their garden landscaping needs this way. What happens, though, is that homeowners often buy without doing their research. The purple lustrife, for example, was first used as a pretty addition to many yards in North America. Before long, though, it quickly invaded local environments. It is a very difficult plant to kill, and it can completely devastate local habitats, especially the biologically diverse wetlands. When coming up with landscaping designs, make sure the plants you are using are not invasive in nature.

2. Use Local-Based Landscaping Supplies

The average U.S. household uses about 260 gallons of water every day, and about 30% of this goes to landscaping. What’s the problem? Water is, in some ways, a finite resource within limited areas. Overuse of water can cause droughts and lower local water tables, which can impact home stability, among other things. Conserve water and mitigate your impact by looking for plants that fare well in your local environment and precipitation conditions, so that the amount of water you need to spend on them is minimal.

3. Don’t Buy Firewood or Mulch From Other States

Did you know that firewood has served as a vector for many invasive insect and fungus species in the U.S.? These insects hitch a ride on firewood, which is sometimes transported across state lines. Firewood has been one of the main ways the damaging emerald ash borer has continued its spread throughout the nation, leaving thousands of damaged and dead trees in its wake. Aim to buy local firewood and mulch whenever you can so that you’re not accidentally giving a free ride.

Do you have tips for environmentally conscious landscaping? Let us know in the comments.