Dale & Pat Bulla, Part 2: "Faith Based Landscaping!"

Pat and Dale Bulla, members of the Interfaith Environmental Network and the IEN’s Energy Action Team, are two of the world’s leading green lifestylers. They’ve been featured in dozens of publications for their home-based efforts in: energy conservation, water conservation, electric transportation, nature-scaping, habitat restoration, and green gardening. See photos of their award winning landscaping here.

Pat and Dale demonstrate their faithful conviction to caring for creation in every step of their lives. In part two of this series we share the Bulla’s Central Texas water conservation and landscaping tips.

Click here to see part one of this series, “Energy Conservation”.

Indoor Water Conservation

  • Installed low flow toilets, 1.6 gpf, installed when house was built in 1998
  • Installed water (and energy) saving dishwasher
  • Installed low flow shower heads (2.0 gpm, with “cut off” button for shower head to stop water flow during soaping/shampooing)
  • Installed low flow faucet aerators for kitchen (2.5 gpm), bathroom (.5 gpm), and utility room (2.2 rpm)
  • Keep bucket in bathtub to catch “warm up” water for shower; utilize this caught water in summer when outside plants need an extra drink


Outdoor Water Conservation/Landscaping Techniques

  • Preserved native soil and plants on lot during house construction; native soil (even though thin) has better microbes, etc., and plants are healthier than if had used sandy loam “red death”
  • Created predominantly native landscape including buffalo grass (if done right, native landscape can require very little watering); have added many more natives for diversity (in case of future bugs or diseases killing off certain species)
  • Utilizing leaf litter and mulching; utilizing 2 compost bins for kitchen scrap
  • Capturing and harvesting rainwater on site, including five City of Austin rain barrels and one 300-gallon tank, which Dale “adapted.”  This water utilized for birdbaths, providing certain plants an extra drink during severe drought, watering new plants and transplants

Pat and Dale are retired career school teachers and members of First Unitarian Church in Austin. Their yard has been awarded “Best of Texas” by Texas Parks and Wildlife, recognized with a “Green Garden Award” by the City of Austin, and certified a “Wildlife Habitat” by the National Wildlife Federation. 

© 2013 Interfaith Environmental Network