Tulsa landscaping companies like Oklahoma Landscape are endeavoring to use more sustainable landscape design practices. In other words… the landscaping industry is going “green.” That might sound funny to say about a landscaping company. After all, aren’t they all about green, living things? Well yes, but sustainable landscape design takes this one step further – putting forth a concerted effort to conserve resources in the environment through effective design.
What are some of the principles of sustainable design and what are the benefits to Tulsa home and business owners?
Sustainable design basically centers on promoting a better environment for present and future generations. To do this requires careful planning and design to create landscapes that do not risk the health of humans or the environment, but rather promote regenerative systems. In this careful planning, Tulsa landscape designers would consider how the landscape will be most often be used – whether for relaxing, entertaining, children playing, or other functions – and this planning not only helps to plan out how to conserve the earth’s resources but also how to conserve the homeowner’s resources as well.
Among the principles of sustainable design, are conserving the following resources:
Drought has become an ever increasing problem in the United States. Even in winter, parts of Oklahoma are still under abnormally dry conditions with some areas in extreme drought. According to the Sustainable Sites Initiative™ (SITES™), two practices – wasteful irrigation and undervaluing rain – have contributed to the imbalance of water. Through sustainable landscape design water can be conserved and treated as a resource. This would include selecting more native plants that require less irrigation, using drip irrigation systems, as well as harvesting rainwater to use for irrigation or water features rather than allow most of it to flow into and then overflow storm drains and sewer systems.
These sustainable efforts to conserve water in the landscape save homeowners and businesses money they would spend on irrigation and promote healthier communities by preventing waste water from backing up and creating public health issues.
Preserving Soil Health
Healthy soil will promote a healthier Tulsa lawn, plants, and other vegetation while preventing erosion and reducing pollution. But often soil gets compacted over time or by construction projects. Compacted soil then prevents plant roots from getting the nutrients they need, and this often can lead to erosion and increased runoff water and flooding. In sustainable design, soil can be preserved and restored, thwarting costly erosion, flooding, and any resulting water pollution. Core aeration can help relieve compacted soil, and composts and mulching can help put nutrients back into the ground.
“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” Material Resources
As with the overall effort to go “green,” conserving material resources is very important. With careful planning and forethought, less construction and yard waste can be created. Choosing more sustainable or recoverable materials can reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions, SITES™ noted.
Preserving and Adding Vegetation
Preserving the native plants in your landscape can help improve the soil, conserve water, increase air quality, and prevent erosion. Native plants are also more resistant to diseases and drought. In addition, grouping plants together with the same irrigation and sunlight needs can reduce your irrigation costs and reduce maintenance.
Urban forests are creating cleaner, cooler cities, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) noted, reducing energy costs, and stormwater runoff. “U.S. trees remove some 784,000 tons of pollution annually, providing $3.8 billion in value,” ASLA reported. Adding urban green areas can help to combat increasing surface temperatures caused by sunlight absorbed by pavement and roofs, ASLA said. Many cities are incorporating green roofs and other urban green and agricultural spaces to reduce energy costs as well as provide numerous other benefits like improved productivity and mental health while increasing property values.
Yes, the costs and health benefits of sustainable landscape design are numerous, creating a win-win situation for homeowners and urban development teams. Tulsa landscaping companies can thus successfully implement sustainable design not only in residential, but also commercial landscaping projects, so that you can “find yourself outside” for generations to come.
For more information on sustainable landscapes, visit http://sustainablesites.org/.