In the light of global warming and ecological degradation across the globe, now it is even more imperative than ever that we start looking at options like sustainable landscaping and the like in order to preserve the precious little bit of greenery that each of us have around us.
Let’s face it – land is becoming more and more scarce by the day in every part of the world, plus the main factors behind sustainable landscaping in Sydney or anywhere else is that outdoor spaces of our future cities need to be relaxing and rewarding to the senses, increasing the quality of the environment and most of all, infusing the local communities with a sense of engagement and pride towards the environment as a whole.
Image courtesy: http://rolitz.com
The Santa Barbara County Water Agency puts it rather aptly – “Sustainable landscaping asks us to examine the input and output of our landscaping and find ways to minimize both”. On that note, let’s take a look at some of the main principles of sustainable marketing :-
- Regard water as a valuable resource: Your landscape materials need to be permeable so that they absorb water and recharge the groundwater table as well. If you include a good method of rainwater harvesting as well, then it will be optimal and there will be little to no need for supplemental irrigation. Even today there is too much wasteful irrigation and little to no retention of rainwater.
- Recognize the significance of the soil and value it: From integrating compost to eliminating herbicides and pesticides, there are quite a few ways to go about this enriching the soil. If the soil of your garden happens to be compacted, that could lead to a host of problems such as stunted plant growth, faster runoff, erosion and flooding. This could further lead to water pollution so focus on loosening the compacted soil as much as possible.
- Realize the vitality of preserving existing plants: Removing all your old plants just to be able to have a fresh start is probably the worst thing you could do. Apart from having a negative impact on the soil’s fertility and loosening your soil thus exposing it to erosion, it will also throw the naturally occurring processing in your garden into total disarray. Also carefully selecting and choosing native or non-invasive (read: parasitic) species of plants will go a long way in conserving the natural habitat.
- Focus on the conservation of material resources: In most places most of the times, there is a tremendous amount of construction and yard waste that is produced. To add to that, a great deal of the materials used are extremely energy intensive and are transported across hundreds of miles. To counter this, a good idea would be to select proper sized plants and concentrate more on the reusing and recycling of the construction waste.
Image courtesy: http://blueberryhillcrafting.com/
Ultimately one needs to keep in mind that the primary goals of sustainable landscaping are to conserve energy and water while at the same time, decreasing waste and reducing runoff. Then again, the assumption being that every green space is sustainable doesn’t always hold true, since there are many varying factors involved with the process of sustainability.
The underlying message is that almost any landscape has the potential to become a sustainable landscape with a few tweaks here and there. To round this off, we must come to realize the most important fact – building community gardens and sustainable landscapes are so much more about merely sustaining the future – we are also building healthy and more interactive communities in general which will prove to be one of the biggest assets of our future.