Green technology is more important now than ever before. With growing public interest in conserving the environment through technology and lifestyle change, now is a crucial point for all industries where suppliers and consumers can work together to make real and lasting changes for the better of our planet. Landscape construction is no different. Whether you’re a homeowner or a landscape architect in the Newport Coast area, these eco-friendly landscape construction tips are sure to inspire.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency the average American family uses up to 48 gallons of water a day just watering their lawn and outdoor plants. That’s enough drinking water for a single person to survive on for 3 months. Lawn alternatives can be an excellent way to cut down on water usage. Given that lawns provide little practical value other than aesthetic, alternatives can be used to even greater effect, provide better drainage and reduce erosion. Gravel, woodchips, synthetic turf, paved areas and low growing indigenous ground cover are all excellent substitutes for a thirsty traditional lawn.
Plants for a more environmentally friendly yard
To further reduce outdoor water consumption, plants that require little additional irrigation can be used. Such plants include succulents, hardy indigenous shrubs and trees that tap into the water basin, thereby bypassing the need for irrigation. Succulents store water in their fleshy leaves, so require very little watering. They can be striking and ornate despite their reputation for being severe-looking. In fact, many succulents flower brightly and possess unusual leaf coloration. Hardy indigenous plants have adapted to the rainfall of the region and so require little extra watering besides what is naturally available. The Hoary California Fuchsia, Desert Mallow and Bush Monkeyflower are all excellent examples of this, all requiring little to no extra water once established, and each contributing bright coloring and character to a landscape.
Smart irrigation system
Lawns do have their environmental advantages, including filtering dust and pollutants from the air and cooling the air at ground level. So if having a lawn is not something you’re prepared to give up, at least ensure that your irrigation system is as efficient and waste free as possible. Choosing to install automatic sprinklers or drip irrigation instead of watering your lawn with a garden hose is already a step in the right direction. A smart irrigation system can be programmed to release water only when it’s needed based on information collected by sensors in the soil. Additional sensors can shut down a timed watering cycle no longer necessary by detecting rainfall. This amounts to a system that utilizes a fraction of the amount of water used when hand watering with a hose.
Using recycled materials helps reduce the need for landfills, saves energy and can keep production costs down. In landscape construction, a large number of elements can be replaced with recycled alternatives. This includes a variety of aggregates and gravel consisting of recycled material, decorative wood chips and tumbled glass filler for plant beds and walkways and even recycled glass and cement tiles or outdoor kitchen countertops. Permeable pavers can also be constructed from recycled materials and are good for the environment for a number of other reasons. For example, permeable pavers allow water to seep back into the earth, contributing to the natural water cycle, as opposed to non-permeable pavers that lets rainwater run off into gutters and storm drains.
To read more on how you can reduce the carbon footprint of your patio construction, see AVOIDING MAJOR CHALLENGES WITH IMPORTING STONE