We used to just do whatever, to have our garden look good at the expense of the environment …
I used gallons of weed-killing chemicals and synthetic fertilisers just on our small property. We even used synthetic chemicals in our pond where we had our koi fish. Plus, the pump was consuming electricity from the grid every day year round. We started by changing our pond ecosystem to one that was as natural as possible, even though the liner for the pond was a heavy plastic membrane and there is an artificial pump for circulation.
The first thing we did was to power the pump using solar energy. We get enough daily wattage to power the pump all day and all night. A simple battery system powers the pump all night. We stopped using commercially produced chemicals, and we started using natural methods to control algae and other issues common to ponds. I learned about using bales of barley grass as one of my first projects of keeping the water clear. The next thing we moved onto doing was to stop using chemical weed killers on our lawn and in our planting beds. We utilised natural mulches, controlling light with how we pruned trees and more to keep our planted areas at a minimum with weeds. We even learned to use ground cover that choked out most weeds.
We were really impressed with how natural our outdoor spaces were becoming. We used newspaper as a weed block in the garden, and we would just till it under for the next planting season. Newspaper biodegrades nicely. There is a lot you can do to reduce the stress you are putting on the natural environment to make your landscape beautiful.