From the mountains to valleys to the streams to the forests to diverse species, nature itself is filled with so much life and beauty. But in our quest to reshape the earth to suit our comfortability, we have caused so much damage. The industrial revolution started the uncontrolled emissions of CO2, resulting in the problem of global warming and climate change we’ve experienced in the last few decades. By the day, more and more natural habitats are being eradicated to obtain the resources we need to sustain our civilization.
But here’s the good news: we can reverse all of that! But it starts with you. Nature and humans don’t have to be at odds all the time. One small way you can promote harmony is by incorporating eco-friendly landscape designs. Green landscaping – also known as sustainable or eco-landscaping – is the act of designing, creating, and maintaining your landscape to save time, money, energy, and other resources. In this post, we explore some ideas on how to accomplish that.
- Use Native Plant Species
Plants are important when it comes to sustainable design. First, plants help to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere while producing oxygen. Moreover, they reduce the possibility of severe erosion just as they serve as effective filters for the water that gets drained into the soil. Not to mention the shade tree species provide in the summer and the warmth they provide in the winter.
While there are plant species you’d love to include in your landscape, it’s always a great idea to throw in native species into the mix. Native plant species, for thousands to millions of years, have developed the necessary biological features needed to adapt to the peculiarities of their environment. This drastically cuts down the maintenance they require in terms of irrigation and fertilization.
- Adopt Xeriscaping
Xeriscaping is the process of landscaping or gardening that lowers or eliminates the need for irrigation. Although this concept has been around since the 80s with the main focus of getting through a drought, its importance cannot be more emphasized than in today’s world where immense pressure is being put on freshwater resources.
There are many xeriscaping methods, but one common one involves grouping plants together based on their water requirements. This allows for more efficient irrigation. Also, drought-prone grass in your landscape can be replaced with drought-resistant species like yellow pampas grass or blue oat grass to reduce the water required.
By combining efficient irrigation with intelligent plant selection, you can maintain a nice, fresh, vibrant green hue in your grasses, plants, and trees with minimal effort and resources.
- Consider Solar Energy
Thanks to advances in solar technology, utilizing solar energy has become cheaper in the long run. Adopting solar energy wherever you get a chance in your landscape is not only a way to save on your energy bills, but also to protect the environment. You can make use of solar-powered lamps to provide lighting for your landscape or solar energy to power your pool heater. Solar powering helps you reduce your carbon footprint. Nothing trumps the feeling of knowing that your landscape runs on a near-infinite, renewable energy source.
- Use Recycled Materials
Over 22 billion plastic bottles end up in landfills and incinerators every year! It’s 28 billion for glass bottles! Not to think about the many other wastes that have to be incinerated, releasing an insane amount of CO2 to the atmosphere, or those that end in water bodies drastically impacting marine life.
While no one individual can save our planet from waste, we can make a tremendous impact through collective action. That’s why we should all adopt recycling wherever possible. In the past few decades, innovative applications of recycled materials in landscape design has been on the rise.
From recycled glass countertops to glass-concrete composite pavers to wood-plastic composite decking, the design options are limitless. What’s more, recycled products are generally more durable than the sum of their original components. This means you not only get to contribute towards preserving our planet in style, but you also get to adopt a style that’s guaranteed to last.
- Think Sustainably
The great thing about sustainable landscaping is that it triggers the creative imagination of humans to develop new and exciting solutions to the environmental challenges we face. That’s why you constantly have to think in terms of sustainability.
Before purchasing a property, keep your eye out for its prevailing features. For instance, uneven surfaces cause soil erosion. If that’s the case, you can preemptively build protection barriers to prevent future erosion. When building a house, having south-facing windows will help you take better advantage of sunlight. Creating a robust rainwater collection system can help you make better use of water resources. And the list goes on … you just have to learn and think!
The earth system is unimaginably more resilient than we think. By factoring in sustainability into our landscape design, we not only get to preserve our natural habitat, but we provide nature with the chance to restore itself where damage has been done.
Contact us today for more information. We look forward to working with you on your next project!