24 Feb Sustainable Landscaping – Overview
Landscaping is important to any residential or commercial property, especially so when it is sustainable landscaping. We well planned and designed lawn or garden is more appealing and certainly more useful than a randomly created one. Traditionally, people have focused more on the design and the appeal more than the process itself. Today with growing concerns and realisation about the threats to the planet, sustainable landscaping is becoming quite important.
There are several areas around landscaping which require a different approach for sustainability. Fortunately, it is more a change in thought and approach than any major change in basic principles of landscaping – as a result, sustainable landscaping is easy to adopt. Besides, by taking care of your environment, you are assured of long term benefits from your lawns too.
Air Pollution: This is a major problem in urban areas where the sheer number of vehicles increases the pollutants in the atmosphere. In such regions, you can grow plants that are resistant to some of the pollutants and improve the surrounding air quality. Air pollution typically leads to ozone layer depletion and sulphur dioxide concentration. There are specific plants that are tolerant to these and can be used to reduce the impact of air pollution, and consequently enhance sustainable landscaping.
Water Pollution: This is directly related to lawn care and maintenance. Any plant requires some degree of care to ensure its survival. Usually this care is related to the use of fertilisers and pesticides. Synthetic products are effective but they leave behind residues that are drained into the water bodies nearby. These synthetic chemicals adversely affect the water quality in the region. There are many equally effective natural products that are and far less damaging to the surroundings, which you can look to use them instead.
Water Shortage: This is a problem in drought prone regions usually. In such areas, you can adopt sustainable techniques like rainwater harvesting, reducing storm water runoff and even green roofs to collect water and improve the water table in the region. Using these techniques is a lot more reliable than having to rely on special supply of water and transporting water from one place to another does require expending energy and damaging the planet. You can also look at using porous paving materials to hold water rather than let it run off in your efforts to achieve sustainable landscaping.
Energy Wastage: Look at landscape design from energy efficiency point of view. You can look at tree placements to increase the shade in the lawn and the house there be reducing the need for external heating and cooling. Similarly, using trees you can create windbreaks to regular the air flow in the area. You must also look at renewable sources of energy to power the lighting in the lawns. Solar powered cells are one of the best and most popular options used to power the lights. They are very effective and require minimal maintenance.
Non-Renewable Sources: Try to reuse use recyclable material in your landscape designs. Glass and rubber from tire are great alternatives in your landscaping. Glass can be used effectively to create patterns and attractions in the lawn while rubber can be used to hold the soil away from the paving and reduce runoffs.
As you can see, sustainable landscaping is not difficult at all. It is just adapting to a new thought process. The best part about this approach is that you would be reusing discarded waste and other products, which can be sourced from the lawn itself (for most part). With proper planning, it can be made economical too.