In recent times, the idea of sustainable landscaping has become a very popular idea. The idea of sustainability can be difficult to define, but over the years it has become clear that certain ideas are key to creating a sustainable landscape, and certain benefits can be derived from having sustainability.
Key Tenets of Sustainable Landscaping
The prime driver behind sustainability is balance. Sustainable landscaping must keep the balance of the local ecosystem, while avoiding change do the climate on both the micro level and macro levels – that is, locally and globally. This includes limiting the use of chemicals, from pesticides to fertilizers, to avoid introducing toxic materials into the water and soil. On a global level, it includes using less power and energy, and creating less pollutants from the care of the lawn and garden.
Sustainability also is driven by the issues that come with a global community, particularly with invasive species. Numerous species have been wiped out by the introduction of predator species or, in the case of plants, species that can overtake local species in the competition for the necessary nutrients of light and water. Sticking to native species can help them thrive and keep extinction at bay.
Easy Steps to Take Towards Sustainable Landscaping
Taking steps towards sustainable landscaping will often depend on the size of the landscape and what already exists. Some of these methods may not work for you or your lawn, but all of them can help move towards sustainability:
- Eliminate power tools – Easier said than done, if you can’t eliminate power tools, at least see about changing from gasoline to electricity as a power source.
- Plant only native species – This can be easily done, but will limit your choices. That being said, don’t be in a hurry to tear out non-native species if they are already part of your landscape – just make sure to replace them with native species when they die off.
- Control water usage – Instead of using fresh water for irrigation, sustainable landscapes will use “gray water” – second-use water from residential use that does not have pollutants or chemicals in it – as well as from collected and saved rainwater.
- Increase wildlife habitat – A plain green lawn is not a sustainable landscape, and it doesn’t create habitat for native species. Varying plant life and creating different levels for animals to utilize will encourage a variety of wildlife, including mammals, reptiles, and birds, to inhabit your yard.
Benefits of Sustainable Landscaping
There are plenty of great benefits from sustainable landscaping. It may seem intimidating at first, but in the long run, it will save you time and money – and we’ve never heard anyone complain of having more of those things. It will also help to make your yard unique and stand out from the rest of your neighborhood. Most importantly, it will contribute towards the balance of your local ecosystem, as well as the global ecosystem. In some cases, it can also lead to you taking a more sustainable approach to other things in life, maybe even change your outlook on how you go about daily life.
If sustainable landscaping interests you, you can find in depth information at local universities and conservatories. Professional landscapers and landscape architects who ascribe to the idea of sustainable landscaping have banded together, and are continually recruiting more landscapers and converting them to these ideals, so if you have someone else do your lawn and garden, talk to them about sustainable landscaping.