ALEXANDRIA, Va. /PRNewswire/ — “Backyarding” – the act of taking activities typically associated with the indoors outside into the green space around us – will continue taking root in 2024, according to the TurfMutt Foundation, which advocates for the care and use of green space, including our own backyards, community parks, green space, and school yards. But next year, the TurfMutt Foundation expects the practice of “backyarding” to evolve into an ongoing sustainability practice.
As outdoor living has become incorporated into daily life, homeowners are taking care to design cohesive outdoor spaces.Tweet
“Now more than ever, homeowners are recognizing the power of their yards and parks doing environmental good, as well as benefitting their health and well-being,” says Kris Kiser, president and CEO of the TurfMutt Foundation and its parent organization the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI). “Homeowners are making improvements in their yards with many goals in mind, thinking about what’s good for their families, pets, and our planet.”
The TurfMutt Foundation predicts these 10 backyarding trends for 2024:
- Improving Existing Space (Rather Than Moving to a New One). High interest rates and low housing inventory mean more homeowners have chosen to renovate rather than move into a new home. With interior improvements complete, the focus turns to backyard improvements that customize the outdoor space and artfully merge indoor and outdoor living.
- Seeking a Home Near a Park or Nature. Even homeowners looking to downsize still want to maintain a connection with nature. They know backyarding can happen in any size yard and seek additional connection to nature through community parks, school yards, and other green space.
- Return of Neighborhood Parties…in the Backyard. Over the last several years, homeowners have invested in their outdoor living areas, and now they are using that space to bring back neighborhood block parties in their own backyards.
- Creating a Backyard Oasis for Fun. From parents looking for ways to lure their kids away from screens to neighbors wanting to connect with friends, homeowners are turning their backyards into a place for fun and games. Some go all out to install a pool or pickleball court while others take a simpler approach like designating a strip of grass for cornhole or a small soccer pitch.
- Taking Better Care of Living Landscapes. Since homeowners have come to value their lawns, trees, and plants more than ever, they are investing in their care like never before. This means investing in equipment for DIY work and calling in professionals, as needed, for pruning, rescuing diseased trees, and revitalizing turfgrass, just to name a few.
- Choosing Real Grass. The trend of ripping out real grass and replacing it with fake, plastic alternatives is fading as homeowners and communities recognize the limitations – and downsides – of plastic grass. Synthetic turf is hard to clean, hot on feet and paws, and difficult to recycle.
- Planting for Pollinators. Once a niche practice, planting for pollinator support is omnipresent. Homeowners understand the importance of their backyards to provide food and shelter to pollinators like birds, butterflies, and bats year-round. And they are selecting plants for their yards with pollinators in mind.
- Adding Drought Tolerant Plants. Plants that are especially adapted to drier landscapes are better for water-stressed areas in our environment. Homeowners are doing their research and selecting plants that will thrive in their micro-climates.
- Mixing Materials. As outdoor living has become incorporated into daily life, homeowners are taking care to design cohesive outdoor spaces. They factor in landscaping, hardscaping (patios, outdoor kitchens, etc.), and natural aesthetics (trees, boulders, etc.).
- Backyard Birding. The birdwatching craze really took flight during the pandemic, but it’s not a fleeting fad. Birdwatching is not only relaxing; it is a great way to connect with the nature right outside our back doors.
For more, sign up for Mutt Mail, a monthly e-newsletter with backyarding tips and all the news from the TurfMutt Foundation here. To learn more about creating the yard of your dreams, visit TurfMutt.com. Look for Mulligan the TurfMutt on the CBS Lucky Dog television show.
TurfMutt was created by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute’s (OPEI) TurfMutt Foundation and has reached more than 70 million children, educators and families since 2009. Championed by Foundation spokesdog, Mulligan the TurfMutt, and through education partners such as Weekly Reader, Discovery Education and Scholastic, TurfMutt has taught students and teachers how to “save the planet, one yard at a time.” Today, TurfMutt is an official USGBC® Education Partner and part of their global LEARNING LAB. TurfMutt has been an education resource at the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Green Apple, the Center for Green Schools, the Outdoors Alliance for Kids, the National Energy Education Development (NEED) project, Climate Change Live, Petfinder and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In 2017, the TurfMutt animated video series won the coveted Cynopsis Kids Imagination Award for Best Interstitial Series. TurfMutt’s personal, home habitat was featured in the 2017-2020 Wildlife Habitat Council calendars. More information at www.TurfMutt.com.
SOURCE TurfMutt Foundation
3 Ways to Use Propane in Your Home
(Family Features) A reliable, environmentally friendly energy source, propane can help power key home systems and appliances. Readily available in the United States, the portable, low-carbon energy source is stored on-site, meaning it’s always accessible to help keep homes running regardless of severe weather or other interruptions to the power grid.
Watch this video for helpful tips this season!
Consider these ways to integrate the clean energy source into your home from the experts at the Propane Education & Research Council:
Whether you use a furnace, fireplace or boiler to heat your home, propane can power your heating source in any climate. Propane-powered heating sources are highly efficient, typically cost less overall due to their longer expected lifespans and emit fewer greenhouse gases than electric or wood- or oil-burning alternatives.
When power from the electric grid is interrupted, a propane-powered generator can provide supplemental power in as little as 10 seconds to keep vital systems like smoke and fire detection, refrigeration, heating and cooling, Wi-Fi and other health and safety equipment operational for several days and nights. Plus, propane doesn’t degrade over time, unlike diesel or gasoline, making it an ideal standby power fuel.
Because of their high performance and energy efficiency, propane-powered appliances such as cooking ranges and stoves, clothes dryers and tankless water heaters can increase the value of a home and decrease the strain on the electrical grid. Generating fewer greenhouse gas emissions than their electric counterparts, propane-powered appliances can heat and cool quicker, reduce standby losses and dry clothing faster, reducing energy usage and cost.
Learn more about propane and its benefits at Propane.com/ForMyHome.
Sunset Home Improvement Inc. Shares Essential Seasonal Home Maintenance Tips
Seasonal Maintenance From Sunset Home Improvement Inc.
SOUTH EASTON, MA, US /EINPresswire.com/ — As the seasons change, Sunset Home Improvement Inc., a leading provider of roofing, siding, and window services, emphasizes the importance of regular home maintenance to ensure durability and energy efficiency. With years of expertise, the company offers valuable advice for homeowners to prepare their homes for different seasons.
Man in a hard hat with a hammer working on roofing.
Spring: As the weather warms, it’s vital to inspect your home for winter damage. Sunset Home Improvement Inc. recommends checking your roof for missing shingles and ensuring that gutters and downspouts are clear of debris. This is also an excellent time to clean and inspect windows and siding for cracks or wear.
Summer: High temperatures and humidity can take a toll on your home. The experts at Sunset Home Improvement Inc. suggest ensuring proper attic ventilation to prevent heat buildup, which can extend the life of your roof. Inspecting and sealing windows and doors will keep your home cool and energy-efficient.
Fall: Preparing for colder weather is crucial. Homeowners should check for drafts and seal gaps around windows and doors. It’s also the time to inspect the siding for any damage and ensure that the roof is in good condition to withstand potential snow and ice.
Winter: During the colder months, it’s important to prevent ice dams by keeping the attic well insulated and ventilated. Checking window seals and siding integrity can also prevent heat loss and keep energy bills low.
Sunset Home Improvement Inc. not only offers these essential tips but provides top-notch service to address any home maintenance needs. Their dedication to quality workmanship and customer satisfaction makes them a go-to source for all home improvement projects.
About Sunset Home Improvement Inc.:
Sunset Home Improvement Inc. has established itself as a trusted leader in home improvement services. Specializing in roofing, siding, and window installations and repairs, the company prides itself on using high-quality materials, employing skilled craftsmen, and delivering exceptional customer service. Committed to enhancing and protecting homes, Sunset Home Improvement Inc. is a name synonymous with reliability and excellence in the home improvement industry.BrandRep
Extreme Weather Prep
(Family Features) As one season gives way to another, fluctuating temperatures can lead to extreme weather that puts your personal safety and property at risk. Working ahead to anticipate potential problems and put preventive measures in place can give you peace of mind that you’re prepared if disaster strikes.
Create Communication Plans
Communication is a vital aspect of severe weather planning. If you know a storm is coming, it’s a good idea to charge smartphones so you have access to weather alerts and a direct connection to friends, loved ones and emergency personnel, even if you lose power. You may not have internet access after a storm, so make a list of emergency contacts and save a hard copy in a safe place. If there’s a chance you may become separated, help your children memorize your phone number and address.
Practice Severe Weather Drills
As a family, practice how to respond to various weather scenarios. Discuss who is responsible for what and where you’ll shelter, if needed. Consider details like who will secure doors and windows and who will be responsible for guiding pets to the shelter area. Drills give you a chance to make adjustments to your plans, and periodic refreshers ensure everyone is prepared to jump into action if a storm hits.
Stay Weather Aware
Keeping tabs on approaching severe weather is essential for planning ahead. Heed the advice of local forecasters if extreme weather conditions are developing. Monitor a storm’s progress so you can take proper precautions if your home is in its path. You may want to invest in a battery-powered weather radio so you can stay up to date even if you lose power.
Prepare Your Home
You may not be able to control whether a storm hits your home, but you can take some steps to minimize the harm if it does. Keeping vegetation trimmed and away from the house helps reduce the chance of damage. Ensure windows and doors are sealed and secure any loose items outdoors that may blow in the wind, including fixtures like shutters.
If you’re planning home renovations, or you’re in the market for a new home, consider building with disaster-resistant materials. Homes built with insulated concrete forms (ICFs), like those made by Nudura, are less susceptible to high-speed winds and impact from flying debris. ICF block construction means you are protected by layers of insulated expanded polystyrene foam and solid concrete, so in addition to standing up to serious storms, you can expect other benefits like energy efficiency, sound dampening and fire resistance.
Stock Up on Safety Supplies
When a storm is raging, you’ll be grateful for a stash of emergency supplies, including batteries, a rechargeable power source, flashlights, a battery-powered weather radio, non-perishable snacks and water, first aid supplies and at least a couple days’ worth of prescription medications. If you have small children, activities like coloring or activity books can help divert their attention from an extended visit to a storm shelter.
Find more insights into homes that can weather any storm at nudura.com/stormsafety.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
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