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The Benefits of “Green” LandscapingOctober 25th, 2013 by
“Green” landscaping around your home beautifies your land and is great for the environment. Even more beneficial to the average homeowner is the fact that green landscaping can also have a significant impact on the green in your wallet.
The EPA estimates that the typical suburban lawn consumes at least 10,000 gallons of water above and beyond rainwater each year. As water prices continue to rise in most municipalities across the nation, the benefits of incorporating green landscaping into your property become clear.
In addition to cost savings, green landscaping presents a host of other benefits:
Because the basis of green landscaping is xeriscaping—planting with drought-resistant foliage varieties that are native to the area—the plant life works in concert with the environment, adjusting to the natural amount of rainfall and sun or shade provided.
This type of landscaping requires much less effort to maintain the health and beauty of the flowers and shrubs. While the average weekend might once have been consumed with lawn and landscape care, with a xeriscaped lawn, you’ll be out of the hedges in no time.
EPA studies reveal that around 80 million pounds of pesticides are used on US lawns each year. As more and more facts emerge about the long-term effects of exposure to pesticides, many people are becoming wary of using chemicals to treat and improve their landscaping.
Intelligent landscaping with native plant varieties eliminates the need to use a lot of chemicals on the lawn for pest control. By choosing plants that have built up a resistance to most of the local pests and fungi that can attack them, few if any pesticides are required to keep the plants healthy.
In some cases, there are plants that may actually repel some species of local insects, keeping the entire yard that much more enjoyable for the homeowner.
According to the nonprofit PlantNative, maintaining a green backyard can cost up to 90 percent less than keeping up a traditional, lawn-based landscape. Native plants will be naturally hardier in the environment, meaning they will not have to be replaced as often.
Not having to run a sprinkler system as often will result in lower water and energy bills, as well as lower system maintenance costs over time.
Where you place plants can also contribute to your water savings; installing plants that require the most water in the low-lying areas of your yard will create a “rain garden,” allowing them to be watered by the runoff from the higher elevations of the yard.
Landscape planning with conservation in mind helps preserve natural resources. For example, deciduous trees planted on the sunny sides of the home (usually the south and west) can save energy inside your home by providing shade in the summer and allowing more warming sun in during the winter.
The Department of Energy predicts that the proper placement of as few as three shade trees can save an average household $100-$250 in energy costs each year.
An abundance of plant life can help clean the air and offset the effects of lawn equipment emissions. PlantNative points out that the average household lawnmower is used upwards of 40 hours a year, and the emissions from lawn equipment are higher per hour than those produced by cars.
By saving money, saving water, and saving the environment, green landscaping is an investment that is thoroughly worth investigating.