Now is the perfect time to start thinking about your landscape projects for the upcoming season. There are many things to consider when you start planning out your landscape but something you may not always think about is how to make your outdoor space sustainable. Below are five key points to consider if you want to reduce your negative environmental impact:
Native Materials – Using native materials, especially native plants can be great for the environment. Main reason being that native plants have evolved and adapted to our environment on their own and do not need human aid to survive. Their deep root system help save water and reduce runoff and erosion. They also provide food and shelter to our native wildlife. Non-native plants need fertilizers, pesticides, water, and maintenance to survive. You may save yourself money, time, and your landscape by sticking to native plants only. This is also true for other materials like stone, that is adapted to our environment already. Use your local resources to buy materials that are sustainably sourced, reducing your carbon footprint.
Storm Water Runoff Systems – There are many drain systems that can help filter polluted storm water before flowing into our environment. Storm water can carry harsh chemicals like salt or oils, and end up in our local bodies of water, polluting these areas. With proper grading you can add erosion control in the landscape. There are many ways to achieve erosion control. Try using rain garden or French drain. You may also consider permeable pavers, drain tile systems, roof sub pumps and plantings to help create a successful runoff system.
Edible Landscapes – Incorporating edibles to your landscape means filling your yard with food-producing plants. This practical integration to your landscape design can benefit your health and economic impact by reducing emissions. You may also consider adding a compost bin where you can decompose natural waist and reintroduce it to the environment. Consider using local materials to build.
LED Low-Voltage Lighting – Pick out low voltage lighting to accentuate your home, hardscape pieces or up-lighting accent plantings like larger trees. The beauty of the LED low voltage lighting is you get the same lighting as halogen bulbs but uses 90% less energy and LED bulbs last way longer the halogen. You can switch bulbs to LED if you have an existing outdoor lighting system with old halogen bulbs already.
Permeable hardscapes – Permeable hardscapes are eco-friendly because unlike a solid concrete patio, which prevents water from soaking into the ground and contributes to runoff, A permeable surfaces soaks the water and lets it enter the soil underneath. There are many examples of permeable hardscapes that you can consider fitting the aesthetic of your landscape.
There are numerous ways to lower your carbon footprint and create a healthy environment for you, your neighbors, and the wildlife. Buy local materials, when possible, to not only support local but also to lessen the energy it takes to manufacture and deliver the materials. Sustainable landscaping will also result in long- term savings. Reach out to Villani Landshapers if you have any questions on how you can achieve a sustainable landscape design this year!