What is the most Eco Friendly Fencing?

There is a selection of eco friendly fencing types – some are just a bit friendlier than others.

bamboo fence

Consideration for the environment shouldn’t stop at your walls, and nor should it stop at your garden fence, but eco friendly fencing is an important consideration nonetheless.

A number of options exist when it comes to eco friendly fencing, meaning that often you can save money, look after the environment, and have a beautiful fence to suit your property too.

Of course, the most eco friendly fence solution is not to fence at all, but this can be impractical in many cases. They are very effective for keeping children and animals in and other people’s children and animals out.

So, what are the options?

Your eco friendly fencing options

Salvaged materials

Pros: This is the most green of the eco friendly fencing options, and is often very inexpensive to free of charge. It might suit certain homes and areas better than others due to the artsy-crafsty look it can create.

Cons: It can be hard to source the right materials and the right amount of those materials. You may have to do some work to the materials to bring them up to usability as eco friendly fencing.

Tip: Use your own waste materials, and take a trip to the local building materials store for any additional materials and advice you may need.

Wood

Pros: Sustainably harvested wood isn’t harmful to the environment, and you will find it difficult to make a wooden fence look unattractive or out of place.

Cons: Wood may rot or discolour fairly quickly if you don’t treat it with toxic stains, sealants, or paints.

Tip: Choose sustainably managed wood to ensure you’re taking the best care of the environment possible.

Metal

Pros: There is a very wide range of options, ranging from lightweight, low-maintenance aluminium to durable, classic looking wrought iron. These are highly recyclable and reusable. Moving to a new home which also doesn’t come with fencing? Take it along!

Cons: Wrought iron is expensive, and needs to be painted or chemically treated to stop it rusting and flaking, and steel chain-link fencing can look cheap.

Tip: Look out for salvaged metal fences, which are cheaper to buy. Also consider whether the need to treat the fence chemically is really worth it.

Stones and bricks

Pros: These materials are sturdy, and really create walls rather than fences, and they are often widely available.

Cons: The materials are heavy and hard to work with. Building the fence (or wall) will take time, whether or not you use a mortar.

Tip: Always look out for salvaged materials first when building eco friendly fencing. After all, you’re trying to lessen the demand for the earth’s dwindling resources.

Plastic and Composites

Pros: Plastic needs very little maintenance, so you don’t need to worry about nasty chemical treatments. Plastic composites (plastic combined with other materials such as wood) are generally more durable than pure plastic products.

Cons: Some plastic fencing can be a bit expensive, and it isn’t always very easily recyclable come its demise, although some plastics can be reused.

Tip: Try to go just for recycled plastics if you can find them. New plastics take a bit of environmentally unfriendly manufacturing to get them ready for use as  not-very eco friendly fencing.

Bamboo

Pros: Bamboo looks elegant and natural and grows at a pretty amazing rate, making it very sustainable and a great material for eco friendly fencing or other products. It’s lightweight and easy to work with.

Cons: Bamboo eco friendly fencing can deteriorate or discolour after a few years, but if you grow your own you’ll have plenty to replace it with when the time comes.

Tip: Bamboo fence-making is a bit tricky, so either get someone with the know-how to do it for you or do a bit of reading up before trying it out yourself.

Combined materials

Pros: Combined materials could be ideal for eco friendly fencing as it makes using salvaged materials a lot easier. It can look pretty distinctive, too.

Cons: Complexity of the job is increased, and can be expensive to construct.

Tip: Plan a combination eco friendly fencing project using the green materials you already have to hand.

Living Fence

Pros: This is the most natural solution, and is probably considered the most attractive by most people. Plants and trees are using for screening, and they change with the seasons.

Cons: These can take quite some time – years, even – to fill in, and common screening plants are really just fast-growing weeds.

Tip: Plant a pretty, dense hedgerow by mixing evergreen plants with deciduous species to maintain greenness whilst also allowing for some seasonal changes.

Image: Garry Knight

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