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Five ways to improve your health and wellbeing with an eco-friendly garden

Five ways to improve your health and wellbeing with an eco-friendly garden

Environmentally-friendly gardening is one of the hottest trends in 2017 as home owners explore the health and well-being benefits of the great outdoors.

Gardens are increasingly seen as an extension of the home and the availability of greener resources, from native plants to carbon friendly materials, are tempting more people to put their creative credentials to the test.

Whether you wish to be more environmentally conscious, extend your living space or relax in tranquil surroundings at the end of a long day, Wesleyan Bank has selected five eco-friendly ways to enable you to create a sustainable and contemporary garden that works in harmony with nature.

Waste not want not - building a compost heap to recycle food waste and clippings is one of the easiest ways to boost your greenEco-blog-1 credentials. You can also consider more eco- friendly watering systems, such as collecting rain water with water butts, or fitting grey water systems that recycle water from washing machine or dishwasher outlets.

Planting native plants, which are equipped to adapt to environmental conditions, support local wildlife such as birds and insects and can help to reduce your overall carbon footprint.

Native plants often need less maintenance which helps to preserve the planet's most valuable natural resource - water. When possible, use natural weed killers and fertilisers which are better for the environment.

Choose oak furniture - 'alfresco' dining is popular with families and children who enjoy the greater freedom of outdoor space and eco-friendly garden furniture can ensure you make the most of the UK's fleeting summer sun. Eco-blog-2

Green unseasoned oak, from locally-sourced hardwood, offers a more environmentally friendly alternative to teak furniture for chairs, tables and benches.

A growing number of UK designers now provide green oak hardwood which originates from well-managed woodlands and is sawn by local mills, minimising carbon emissions.

Oak is strong, durable and has a transparent supply chain, making it the perfect choice for a sustainable garden.

Use green garden tools
- it can be tempting to focus on creating a stylish garden area without considering the products and tools you are going to use to maintain iEco-blog-3t.

By eliminating gas emissions and reducing noise pollution, motor-free and solar-powered lawnmowers are better for the environment than petrol-based alternatives as they help to conserve energy.

Hand-forged garden tools, such as trowels and forks, conserve the planet's natural resources as they are made from recycled steel and ash wood while electric weed trimmers also cut gas emissions.

Create a natural swimming pool - eco-friendly swimming pools are sweeping the globe and provide a natural way for you to enjoy a 'healthy' and relaxing dip in crystal clear water. 'Natural' swimming pools require no chlorine or chemicals which can cause skin and eyeEco-blog-4 irritation, including conditions such as eczema.

Instead, they are kept clean by plants which are used to keep water free of bacteria and the phosphates they feed on.

Natural pools are self-maintaining thanks to gravel or shingle filters and keep water pure by removing sediment and are more cost effective to run over time.

Build an eco-friendly garden room
- from an idyllic outside office to a practical gymnasium, timber buildings can provide an extra room for your home within your garden to help you maximise available space. Eco-blog-5

By using sustainably sourced materials for walls and insulation, recycled glass and energy-efficient lighting, external buildings can
be constructed to be eco-friendly and offset CO2 emissions as they are free from toxic treatments.

Modern 'eco rooms' are built from many environmentally friendly elements and include the option to incorporate green renewables to reduce heating costs by utilising high-performance energy-saving technologies.

When making home improvements, it's important to consider how much value they will add to your property and whether the time and effort is proportionate.

If you decide to take out a loan to pay for enhancements to your garden, always be mindful of tempting offers and check the small print as the lowest rate is not always the best option.
You may also want to consider reviewing your home insurance cover when enhancing your home, either through purchase of new items or increasing its overall value.

'WESLEYAN’ is a trading name of the Wesleyan Group of companies.

Wesleyan Assurance Society and Wesleyan Bank Ltd are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Wesleyan Financial Services Ltd, Wesleyan Unit Trust Managers Ltd, Practice Plan Ltd and DPAS Ltd are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.  Advice about investments, insurance and mortgages is provided by Wesleyan Financial Services Ltd.

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