Firstly, it is important to use natural wood. Organic materials not only look better in natural environments but are much more fossil fuel friendly to manufacture. Natural wood can also be easily recycled if you wish to make your deck smaller in the future, need to replace or reshape it, or simply want it removed.
Ensure you buy natural wood that has been pressure-treated, as this will be able to endure termites, heavy foot traffic, and rot. If you do not want treated wood, choose hardwood as this has naturally durable properties.
If you plan to choose chemically treated wood, make sure you know the environmental risks associated with it. Chemically treated wood, especially when placed in contact with bare soil, can spread toxins to surrounding plant life and water sources, which can pose a threat to pets who spend most of their time in the garden. Chemicals in the wood also make recycling a more difficult procedure. Think carefully about the impact on your surrounding environment of the materials you choose.
The design of your deck can also increase or decrease its level of environmental friendliness. Build your structure to flow around large trees to avoid cutting them down. This has the added benefit of providing natural shade for your deck area.
For eco-friendly maintenance, clean your deck periodically with oxygen bleach. In contrast to chlorine bleach, oxygen bleach does not contain eco-harmful ingredients. Oxygen bleach is also safe to plants and will not damage any foliage or trees surrounding your deck. It works by permeating the dry wood of your deck and killing any mildew or mould spores. This in turn prevents rot and discolouration.