Whenever possible, a beautiful landscape should benefit the environment rather than harm it. For that reason, when planning your next Pine Island, NY, landscaping project, consider adding sustainable features. Using renewable resources, conserving water, and redirecting waste can all help create a more sustainable landscape. Landscaping that does its part to minimize impact on the environment benefits you, your community, and future generations.
Reduce Stormwater Runoff
Excess water that runs across solid surfaces can carry contaminants such as pesticides, fertilizers, and waste into natural water sources. Stormwater runoff is becoming one of the largest sources of urban water pollution. You can help correct a property that features large impervious surfaces with sustainable landscaping updates.
Replacing materials such as asphalt and concrete with permeable pavers can significantly reduce stormwater runoff on your property. Permeable pavers feature gaps between the stones to allow water to absorb into the ground underneath. The gaps are filled with sand or fine stone for maximum absorbency and to help prevent plant growth. Permeable pavers are available in a wide selection of styles and colors, resulting in striking and sustainable driveways and walkways.
Driveways are often one of the largest non-absorbent surfaces in a landscape. Adding a strip of grass or low-maintenance ground cover in the middle can help reduce the large expanse of impervious material. The strip is a feature of what’s known as a “ribbon driveway” and allows more rainwater to be absorbed into the ground rather than flowing into the sewer or nearby water sources.
Replacing bare or compacted areas of earth with plants can improve drainage and help reduce stormwater runoff. Infiltration plantings such as native perennials, grasses, and shrubs growing alongside solid surfaces will help catch water runoff and deliver it back into the ground.
Add Plants for a Healthy Landscape
Including an abundance of plants in your landscaping is one approach for helping to make your yard more sustainable. Plants help the environment in so many ways. They absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, help prevent ground erosion, and filter water. They also help shade and cool our homes and yards. But choosing the wrong plants can negate the positive impact you’re hoping to achieve. Landlscape designers can help select plants that will benefit both your landscape and the surrounding environment.
They likely will suggest plants that are native to your area as such plants require less water and fertilizers as they are conditioned to thrive in the available growing conditions. Another suggestion may involve the planting of trees. New trees can improve soil conditions and increase available shade, reducing your reliance on electricity for cooling off.
Reduce Your Lawn
Some homeowners find a thick, green lawn highly desirable. But a healthy lawn uses a lot of resources. Healthy grass requires more water than Mother Nature can provide, as well as pesticides and fertilizers to keep it looking its best—not to mention all the maintenance that goes along with achieving that perfect lawn. You may view hardscape features, like a paver patio, will encourage you to spend more time outdoors, which would cut back the need for lawn maintenance as well as your energy use within the house.
Add an Irrigation System to Conserve Water
If you do opt for a fair amount of grass and plantings, you could find an irrigation system aids your sustainability efforts. In fact, a well-designed irrigation system is far more efficient than manual watering. An irrigation system on a timer will help prevent overwatering, which can significantly reduce water consumption. A timer also allows watering to be done in short intervals at the right time of day, improving water absorption.