It’s becoming increasingly important to take care of our planet, and businesses can help. There are ways to use resources more efficiently and cut back on energy consumption inside, of course, but one eco-friendly idea for businesses exists that you might not have considered: sustainable landscaping.
Landscaping helps make a building not only beautiful, but it’s possible to have a beautiful property without hurting the environment. In fact, doing so is a great idea. A sustainable landscape is good for the health and happiness of your employees and customers; it helps keep the planet cleaner; and, with a bit of careful planning, it can even take care of itself.
All of this ultimately helps your bottom line.
How is it possible? Sustainable landscaping works by closely examining the resources that enter and leave a system and what waste takes place, making sure there’s as little as possible. Here are a few of the resources that sustainable landscaping tries to cut back on using as well as what it tries to avoid creating in the first place.
Despite the importance of water, a lot of traditional landscaping practices waste this precious resource.
Water from storms gets treated as a waste product and flows into gutters and sewers, often taking soil runoff and pollution with it. Irrigation practices also water on a schedule without taking needs into account, and so much hardscaping material is impermeable and keeps groundwater from being replenished.
Sustainable landscaping strives to avoid wasting water by installing and maintaining more controlled and precise irrigation systems for watering, allowing rainwater to either be recycled to water landscaping or to be filtered and returned to the groundwater supply through permeable pavers, or making use of graywater where it’s allowed.
No matter what the composition, soil is the foundation of any landscape, and it’s important to preserve and replenish it when you can.
If you don’t take care of your soil, it can get compacted. This can lead to erosion, runoff and even flooding in some areas. All of these phenomena can not only make a mess of your property, but also carry pollutants that ultimately affect the water supply.
Traditional landscaping tends to use the same plants, which is a problem when you consider that the United States is a big place. There are many different climates, weather patterns and species around the country — some plants thrive in certain locations, and some are sure to die, just based on what part of the country or world they come from.
Sustainable landscaping doesn’t force things to grow where they shouldn’t and instead chooses from native plants, removing non-native or invasive species when possible. Local plants are able to stand up to the temperatures, weather, insects, soil conditions and other facts about where they came from.
This can save you money and resources. You don’t spend too much on making sure that plants survive, and local plants don’t need much watering beyond what your region would get in naturally-occurring rainfall.
Sustainable landscaping looks for organic solutions to problems where it’s possible, because this cuts down on the number of chemicals in the ecosystem.
Preventing infestations of invasive species is preferable to using chemical pesticides to get rid of them once they take up residence, and selecting plants that thrive in their home environment cuts back in fertilizer use. Using local materials also cuts back on the money and carbon required to transport other materials to your business.
Reducing, reusing and recycling is important, and sustainable landscaping makes sure it’s possible by conserving materials wherever possible. Materials used in eco-friendly landscaping are often locally-sourced or reused from existing structures on the property.
The production and transportation costs — both in money and in resources — for bringing in new materials are extremely high. Save on your carbon footprint and in your bank account by going with sustainable landscaping.