If you’re looking to make your home more “green”, you may have to look no further than its perimeter. There are countless sustainable fencing options for homeowners that want more privacy and security for their home. What’s more, they’re just as (if not more) aesthetically pleasing as regular fences.
Selecting the right fence material is important, as certain fences made from synthetic materials can leech chemicals into the soil and harm surrounding vegetation. Furthermore, the maintenance and upkeep of these fences can be even more environmentally-taxing.
Sustainable fences are usually made from renewable, yet durable, materials. They also require little to no maintenance, allowing you to save water and resources along the way. So, if you’re thinking of making the upgrade to a sustainable fence, there are five excellent options you can choose from – based on your budget and preferences.
Composite fencing is usually a mix of recycled wood or recycled plastic with wheat straw. Not only is this fence responsibly-sourced, it’s elegant and versatile. Composite fencing is one of the most durable and long-lasting options on this list, and it requires almost no maintenance.
Because of the plastic components, these fences can last for over 20 years. They’re prone to weathering and moisture damage, and are usually made of 96-99% recycled materials. Plastic bags, newspaper sleeves, and paper towel overwraps all going into their making.
Unfortunately, once used until the end of their lifespan, the materials cannot be recycled again. Nonetheless, it’s an excellent contributor to sustainability efforts.
Living fences not only allow you to preserve the environment, but contribute to it. Made of actual vegetation, such as privacy hedges, they’re perfect for the homeowner that doesn’t mind some maintenance and greatly appreciates natural scenery.
A living fence helps filter CO2 out of the atmosphere, while also releasing fresh oxygen into the air. It will require trimming, pruning, and occasional watering, but it’s definitely one of the most beautiful and sustainable options.
Privet, juniper and cedar trees, and yew all make excellent living fences. One thing you’ll want to keep in mind, however, is that they’re not entirely pet-friendly. Animals can sneak their way through small openings in the fence and escape.
Western Red Cedar Fences
Western red cedar is a stunning option that goes with all kinds of homes. It’s a wood-sourced fence, but still very environmentally conscious. It has a rich, warm hue and is extremely strong and durable – perfect for areas where there is turbulent weather.
You may be wondering how this wood-sourced fence can still be eco-friendly, however. Western Red Cedar is harvested from a forest that is carefully monitored by the British Columbia Forest Ministry. They carefully inventory the input and output of cedar, preventing outsiders from over-harvesting. Only 1% of the forest’s cedar is allowed to be used.
Once developed into a fence, cedar continues to be highly sustainable. It requires no chemical treatments and does not decay easily. So, it requires little maintenance and has a very low (if not non-existent) carbon footprint.
If you are considering having western red cedar fences, you can contact the good guys from Viking Fence. They are a Texas fence supplier with plenty of sustainable fencing options, including Western Red Cedar.
If you love the look and feel of wood, but still don’t feel comfortable opting for a wood fence, bamboo is a great choice. It looks like wood, but is actually a grass. As a result, it regrows quickly (up to 3 feet a day), making it a more responsible resource than wood.
Although bamboo can be pricy, it’s ideal if you’re passionate about preventing deforestation. Furthermore, it’s easy to install. It can simply be twined together and grounded. Also, it requires zero maintenance, making it an increasingly popular resource for flooring and decking as well.
Bamboo is a diverse material that can be both modern and rustic. As a result, it can be easily blended with different materials and architectural designs for eye-catching curb appeal.
Reclaimed Wood Fences
For a DIY, rustic feel, go with some reclaimed lumber. You can obtain salvaged wood from unused planking, lumber yards, and even sometimes your local home improvement store. Wood that would otherwise get thrown into the chipper will be saved and recycled by you for decades to come.
Reclaimed wood has an aged look to it, making it a wonderful fence for cottages or smaller homes. If sanded down and varnished, it can even look like-new.
Unfortunately, reclaimed wood can splinter, fade, and rot if not consistently maintained. As a result, you’ll want to spray it down with linseed or tung oil from time to time. What you gain by making a statement against deforestation you may lose in the regular maintenance, but if you have plenty of time on your hands, it can be extremely rewarding.