Sustainable gardening

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A water collector at the EVA Lanxmeer housing development in Culemborg, Netherlands E.V.A. Lanxmeer Water 2009.jpg
A water collector at the EVA Lanxmeer housing development in Culemborg, Netherlands

Sustainable gardening includes the more specific sustainable landscapes, sustainable landscape design, sustainable landscaping, sustainable landscape architecture, resulting in sustainable sites. It comprises a disparate group of horticultural interests that can share the aims and objectives associated with the international post-1980s sustainable development and sustainability programs developed to address the fact that humans are now using natural biophysical resources faster than they can be replenished by nature.

Contents

Included within this are those home gardeners, and members of the landscape and nursery industries, and municipal authorities, that integrate environmental, social, and economic factors to create a more sustainable future.

Sustainable Sites Initiative

The Sustainable Sites Initiative is a commercial accreditation body in USA which certifies landscapers and sites using guidelines and performance benchmarks for sustainable land design, for which their registered trademark can be earned after a fee. [1] It was founded in 2005. Using the United Nations Brundtland Report’s definition of sustainable development as a model, it defines sustainability as: [1]

...design, construction, operations and maintenance practices that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs

by attempting to:

...protect, restore and enhance the ability of landscapes to provide ecosystem services that benefit humans and other organisms.

There is no uniform national standard for a sustainable landscaping project in the USA. [1] Sites are rated according to their impact on ecosystem services: [1] The following ecosystem services have been identified:

Principles

Enhancement of ecosystem services is encouraged throughout the life of any site by providing clear design, construction and management criteria. [1] Sustainability requires that environmental, social and economic demands are integrated. Guidelines supplement existing green building guidelines and include metrics (benchmarks, audits, criteria, indexes etc.) that give some measure of sustainability (a rating system) by clarifying what is sustainable or not sustainable or, more likely, what is more or less sustainable. [1]

Impacts of a site can be assessed and measured over any spatio-temporal scale. Impacts of a site may be direct by having direct measurable impacts on biodiversity and ecology at the site itself, or indirect when impacts occur away from the site.

Site principles

Compost heap at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Compost heap, Kew Gardens - geograph.org.uk - 215033.jpg
Compost heap at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

The following are some site principles for sustainable gardening: [1] [2]

Measuring site sustainability

An example of a property using the xeriscaping. This method reduces the need for water which is often in limited supply in arid regions. Xeriscaped house 1, Hidden Meadows.jpg
An example of a property using the xeriscaping. This method reduces the need for water which is often in limited supply in arid regions.

One major feature distinguishing sustainable gardens, landscapes and sites from other similar enterprises is the quantification of site sustainability by establishing performance benchmarks. Because sustainability is such a broad concept the environmental impacts of sites can be categorised in numerous ways depending on the purpose for which the figures are required. The process can include minimising negative environmental impacts and maximising positive impacts. As currently applied the environment is usually given priority over social and economic factors which may be added in or regarded as an inevitable and integral part of the management process. A home gardener is likely to use simpler metrics than a professional landscaper.

Three methods for measuring site sustainability include BREEAM developed by the BRE organisation in the UK, Leed, developed in America and the Oxford 360 degree sustainability Index used in Oxford Park and developed by the Oxford Sustainable Group in Scandinavia.[ citation needed ]

See also

Related Research Articles

Landscape architecture design of outdoor public areas, landmarks, and structures to achieve environmental, social-behavioral, or aesthetic outcomes

Landscape architecture is the design of outdoor areas, landmarks, and structures to achieve environmental, social-behavioural, or aesthetic outcomes. It involves the systematic investigation of existing social, ecological, and soil conditions and processes in the landscape, and the design of interventions that will produce the desired outcome. The scope of the profession includes landscape design; site planning; stormwater management; erosion control; environmental restoration; parks, recreation and urban planning; visual resource management; green infrastructure planning and provision; and private estate and residence landscape master planning and design; all at varying scales of design, planning and management. A practitioner in the profession of landscape architecture is called a landscape architect.

Permaculture agriculture practices using few energy resources and human intervention

Permaculture is a set of design principles centered on whole systems thinking, simulating, or directly utilizing the patterns and resilient features observed in natural ecosystems. It uses these principles in a growing number of fields from regenerative agriculture, rewilding, and community resilience.

Environmental planning is the process of facilitating decision making to carry out land development with the consideration given to the natural environment, social, political, economic and governance factors and provides a holistic framework to achieve sustainable outcomes. A major goal of environmental planning is to create sustainable communities, which aim to conserve and protect undeveloped land.

Sustainable forest management is the management of forests according to the principles of sustainable development. Sustainable forest management has to keep the balance between three main pillars: ecological, economic and socio-cultural. Successfully achieving sustainable forest management will provide integrated benefits to all, ranging from safeguarding local livelihoods to protecting the biodiversity and ecosystems provided by forests, reducing rural poverty and mitigating some of the effects of climate change.

The "Melbourne Principles" for Sustainable Cities are ten short statements on how cities can become more sustainable. They were developed in Melbourne (Australia) on 2 April 2002 during an international Charrette, sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives. Experts at the Charrette were drawn from developing and developed countries.

Sustainable cities, urban sustainability, or eco-city is a city designed with consideration for social, economic, environmental impact, and resilient habitat for existing populations, without compromising the ability of future generations to experience the same. These cities are inhabited by people whom are dedicated towards minimizing required inputs of energy, water, food, waste, output of heat, air pollution - CO
2
, methane, and water pollution. Richard Register first coined the term "ecocity" in his 1987 book Ecocity Berkeley: Building Cities for a Healthy Future, where he offers innovative city planning solutions that would work anywhere. Other leading figures who envisioned the sustainable city are architect Paul F Downton, who later founded the company Ecopolis Pty Ltd, as well as authors Timothy Beatley and Steffen Lehmann, who have written extensively on the subject. The field of industrial ecology is sometimes used in planning these cities.

Natural landscaping

Natural landscaping, also called native gardening, is the use of native plants, including trees, shrubs, groundcover, and grasses which are indigenous to the geographic area of the garden.

Green infrastructure type of infrastructure

Green infrastructure or blue-green infrastructure is a network providing the “ingredients” for solving urban and climatic challenges by building with nature. The main components of this approach include stormwater management, climate adaptation, less heat stress, more biodiversity, food production, better air quality, sustainable energy production, clean water and healthy soils, as well as the more anthropocentric functions such as increased quality of life through recreation and providing shade and shelter in and around towns and cities. Green infrastructure also serves to provide an ecological framework for social, economic and environmental health of the surroundings.

Environmental enterprise

An environmental enterprise is an environmentally friendly/compatible business. Specifically, an environmental enterprise is a business that produces value in the same manner which an ecosystem does, neither producing waste nor consuming unsustainable resources. In addition, an environmental enterprise rather finds alternative ways to produce one's products instead of taking advantage of animals for the sake of human profits. To be closer to the goal of being an environmentally friendly company, some environmental enterprises invest their money to develop or improve their technologies which are also environmentally friendly. In addition, environmental enterprises usually try to reduce global warming, so some companies use materials that are environmentally friendly to build their stores. They also set in place regulations that are environmentally friendly. All these efforts of the environmental enterprises can bring positive effects both for nature and people. The concept is rooted in the well-enumerated theories of natural capital, the eco-economy and cradle to cradle design. Examples of environmental enterprise would be Seventh Generation, Inc., and Whole Foods.

Regenerative design

Regenerative design is a process-oriented whole systems approach to design. The term "regenerative" describes processes that restore, renew or revitalize their own sources of energy and materials. Regenerative design uses whole systems thinking to create resilient and equitable systems that integrate the needs of society with the integrity of nature.

Ecological design or ecodesign is an approach to designing products with special consideration for the environmental impacts of the product during its whole lifecycle. It was defined by Sim Van der Ryn and Stuart Cowan as "any form of design that minimizes environmentally destructive impacts by integrating itself with living processes." Ecological design is an integrative ecologically responsible design discipline. Ecological design can also be posited as the process within design and development of integration environmental consideration into product design and development with the aim of reducing environmental impacts of products through their life cycle.

Sustainability Process of maintaining change in a balanced fashion

Sustainability is the ability to exist constantly. In the 21st century, it refers generally to the capacity for the biosphere and human civilization to coexist. It is also defined as the process of people maintaining change in a homeostasis balanced environment, in which the exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development and institutional change are all in harmony and enhance both current and future potential to meet human needs and aspirations. For many in the field, sustainability is defined through the following interconnected domains or pillars: environment, economic and social, which according to Fritjof Capra is based on the principles of Systems Thinking. Sub-domains of sustainable development have been considered also: cultural, technological and political. According to Our Common Future, Sustainable development is defined as development that "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." Sustainable development may be the organizing principle of sustainability, yet others may view the two terms as paradoxical.

Xeriscaping Xeriscaping

Xeriscaping is the process of landscaping or gardening that reduces or eliminates the need for supplemental water from irrigation. It is promoted in regions that do not have accessible, plentiful, or reliable supplies of fresh water and is gaining acceptance in other regions as access to irrigation water is becoming limited. Xeriscaping may be an alternative to various types of traditional gardening.

Index of environmental articles Wikipedia index

The natural environment, commonly referred to simply as the environment, includes all living and non-living things occurring naturally on Earth.

Sustainable landscaping is a modern type of gardening or landscaping that takes the environmental issue of sustainability into account. According to Loehrlein in 2009 this includes design, construction and management of residential and commercial gardens.

EPA Sustainability

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established in July 1970 when the White House and the United States Congress came together due to the public's demand for cleaner natural resources. The purpose of the EPA is to repair the damage done to the environment and to set up new criteria to allow Americans to make a clean environment a reality. The ultimate goal of the EPA is to protect human health and the environment.

Environmentally Sustainable design is the philosophy of designing physical objects, the built environment, and services to comply with the principles of ecological sustainability.

Sustainable urbanism study of cities and the practices to build them urbanism

Sustainable urbanism is both the study of cities and the practices to build them (urbanism), that focuses on promoting their long term viability by reducing consumption, waste and harmful impacts on people and place while enhancing the overall well being of both people and place. Well being includes the physical, ecological, economic, social, health and equity factors, among others, that comprise cities and their populations. In the context of contemporary urbanism, the term cities refers to several scales of human settlements from towns to cities, metropolises and mega-city regions that includes their peripheries / suburbs / exurbs. Sustainability is a key component to professional practice in urban planning and urban design along with its related disciplines landscape architecture, architecture, and civil and environmental engineering. Green urbanism and ecological urbanism are other common terms that are similar to sustainable urbanism, however they can be construed as focusing more on the natural environment and ecosystems and less on economic and social aspects. Also related to sustainable urbanism are the practices of land development called Sustainable development, which is the process of physically constructing sustainable buildings, as well as the practices of urban planning called smart growth or growth management, which denote the processes of planning, designing, and building urban settlements that are more sustainable than if they were not planned according to sustainability criteria and principles.

Foodscaping

Foodscaping is a modern term for the practice of integrating edible plants into ornamental landscapes. It is also referred to as edible landscaping and has been described as a crossbreed between landscaping and farming. As an ideology, foodscaping highlights how edible plants are not only consumable and function, but can also be appreciated for their aesthetic qualities. Foodscaping spaces are seen as multi-functional landscapes which are visually attractive and also provide edible returns.

‘Net positive’, from Positive Development (PD) theory, is a new paradigm in sustainable development and design. PD theory was first detailed in Positive Development (2008). A net positive system/structure would ‘give back to nature and society more than it takes’ over its life cycle. In contrast, ‘sustainable development’ - in the real-world context of population growth, biodiversity losses, cumulative pollution, wealth disparities and social inequities - closes off future options. To reverse direction, development must, among other sustainability criteria, increase nature beyond pre-human conditions. PD develops the tools to enable net positive design and development.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 American Society of Landscape Architects. Guidelines and performance benchmarks. The sustainable sites initiative. Retrieved on: 2009-03-16.
  2. "Gardenersmag". Saturday, 7 December 2019
  3. Tyman, Shannon (2011). "Xeriscaping". Green Cities: An A-to-Z Guide . doi:10.4135/9781412973816.n148. ISBN   9781412996822.