Every material or product used in a landscape significantly impacts the environment, economy, and human health. Thus, it is essential to consult a top-notch landscape professional when thinking of building a landscape for your property. This helps ensure the optimum efficacy of your landscape. For instance, in a sustainable landscape, the lifecycle of materials involves a circular process where these products are reused or recycled to eliminate the extraction of virgin feedstock and minimize energy or resource inputs. Unlike unsustainable landscapes, the materials used in a sustainable yard represent the area’s regional identity while enabling you to contribute to the local economy. Additionally, when selecting materials for an eco-friendly landscape, the consideration is focused on the costs of human health and environmental impacts.
Why is material management critical?
The production, selection, and usage of landscape materials are generally wasteful and extravagant. Additionally, every phase of the life cycle of these materials demands energy while producing hazardous air, water, soil pollutants, and other wastes. Luckily, the increasing awareness about environmental protection and sustainability has enabled homeowners and gardeners to minimize waste, pollution, and energy consumption by limiting the use of new materials and other products.
Practicing the adage, “reduce, reuse, recycle,” is one of the best ways to start practicing landscape sustainability. This can include downsizing your landscaping project to narrow down the use of materials, redesigning the project to reuse the previously used materials more effectively, and finding ways to recycle the old materials.
Retaining old and existing materials can help you eliminate the demolition and transportation costs associated with the disposal of materials in a landfill. This can further allow you to establish a unique, cost-effective landscape. However, when developing a new landscape for your backyard, consider opting for natural untreated, non-toxic, and locally-made recyclable products.
The role of materials in sustainable landscape
A landscape is made of several different elements. All these elements serve a specific role in offering optimum functionality to your landscape. Thus, plan carefully so as to not disrupt or cause any unwanted harm to the environment, economy, or human health.
Besides rock and soil, metal, wood, and paving materials are typical materials that come to mind when discussing the landscape.
Listed below are some of the effective ways you should consider when planning a sustainable landscape:
- Recoup materials to use them in their complete form or deconstruct or dismantle it to create an entirely new object.
- Use recycled materials to lessen the need for virgin feedstock.
- Source your raw materials locally to minimize the negative environmental impacts.
- Design your garden accessories using standard material sizes to avoid wasteful cuts.
- Use reversible connections (bolts, screws) for easy removal and reuse.
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