As 2017 ends and we look ahead to the New Year, there’s a good chance you have made a list of New Year’s resolutions. It’s also an opportune time to make some backyard resolutions as you look forward to the time you can remove your inground pool cover and begin to enjoy your pool again! 

First and foremost, resolve to get outside more often. Time with family and friends should be a priority—especially if you can plan your time around pool and backyard activities. This pledge can inspire you to take care of your other backyard resolutions! 

If you have it in the budget, you should consider hiring a landscape designer who can look at the pool and surrounding area in its entirety with a professional eye, and really breathe new life into the pool, patio, and backyard. 

If you are carrying out your backyard resolutions yourself, here are some things you can try to up your backyard game. Composting is a wise way to begin. Not only does it reduce the amount of waste in landfills, it also supplies you with soil that is rich in nutrients for use in your flower beds or vegetable garden. Using compost also reduces the need for fertilizer. 

While you are in conservation mode, resolve to reduce water use when it comes to your backyard. Install an irrigation system or sprinkler system. Thanks to technology, “smart” systems know when to water and how much water to use. This is a win-win—saving money and conserving water. Plant low-maintenance bushes and shrubs that don’t require a great deal of water. 

You can also reduce your carbon footprint right in your backyard! Use a manual push mower instead of a riding mower to decrease your use of fossil fuels. Plus, you get an awesome cardio workout. Replace your pool pump with an energy-efficient model, and use LED lights instead of incandescent ones. 

Once you are committed to helping to save the environment by getting your backyard in order, think about updating your swimming pool. You most likely maintain your pool regularly to keep it in pristine condition during swimming season. If you want an easy way to give your pool a fresh look, consider purchasing a new liner. Today’s liners come in an abundance of colors, patterns, and special effects. You could also buy some new patio furniture to place around the pool, or a colorful umbrella. 

An outdoor grilling station is a wonderful addition to a backyard. It is less of a commitment—and investment—than a complete outdoor kitchen, and is super convenient so you, your family, and friends can enjoy the backyard for long periods of time. 

Speaking of food, how about growing a vegetable garden? If that is too big of a responsibility, think about an herb garden instead. There’s nothing better than eating home-grown produce and using the freshest herbs in your recipes.

 Finally, add some colorful flowers and plants to the backyard. It is a simple way to make it look more inviting, and entice you to spend more time in the great outdoors. Happy Backyard New Year!