Beautiful landscaping has always been a part of a lodging facility’s plan to attract customers and ensuring rising property values. Unfortunately, many landscapes are not managed efficiently. his can increase maintenance costs, waste natural resources, and pollute the environment. By utilizing sustainable landscaping practices, professional landscapers and home owners can produce beautiful landscapes while reducing maintenance costs and protecting the environment.
Here are some general things that you and your lodging facility can do to ensure a beautiful, sustainable, and eco-friendly landscape:
- Select low maintenance/slow growing plants and grasses.
- Reduce or eliminate plastic silt fencing and substitute with blankets, berms, and filtersocks made of compost for erosion control.
- Switch from pressure-treated wood to plastic lumber for decks, benches, and signs.
- Return wooden pallets and other shipping materials to your supplier whenever possible.
- When replacing an existing hardscape or structure, deconstruct, reuse and recycle all possible materials such as metal, wood, shingles, concrete, and pavement.
- Minimize turf grass and paved areas – keep as much natural area as possible.
- Cluster structures to maximize open space.
- Minimize site and soil disruptions to the maximum extent possible.
- Take apart non-returnable wood pallets to reuse the wood (e.g., edging around plant beds) or chip it for use on site for mulch.
- Chip woody waste and tree clippings into mulch for use on-site.
- Donate healthy plants to local nonprofit organizations when reconfiguring or removing trees and shrubs from your landscape.
- Reuse or increase the use and efficiency of existing sites before cutting into new sites.
- Reuse soils within the work site; create mounds or berms to serve as wind breaks or to add visual interest.
- Recycle bedding trays and plant containers from annuals and other greenery.
- Triple rinse and recycle plastic commercial containers.
- Recycle used oil and tires from your vehicles and equipment.
- Provide recycling receptacles next to trash receptacles.
- Send green waste and food waste that cannot be composted on site to a local composting facility.
- Reclaim land – turn waste land into usable property and a valuable asset.
- Select plastic lumber made from recycled bottles and bags for benches and other outdoor structures.
- Incorporate rubberized asphalt (made from recycled tires) for parking lots, walking, running, bike, or cart paths.
- Purchase patio blocks and lawn edging containing recovered plastic or postconsumer rubber.
- Amend soils and turf with high quality compost.
- Use recycled glass for golf course bunker sand, beach sand, or filter media.
- Specify high performance concrete, which can contain fly ash and/or other recycled materials to double the life of conventional pavement, wall, and bridge applications.
- Restructure waste disposal contracts to pay only for waste actually disposed – weight-based versus fixed rate; if a weight-based rate is not possible and your dumpster is only half-full each time — switch to less frequent pickups.
- Install composting toilets in remote locations such as parks and golf courses to save on waste disposal costs.
Utilize the EPA WaterSense Tool to identify ways to save water, money, materials, energy, and time when landscaping the property.
- Conserve water through Xeriscaping.
- Incorporate compost into the soil to help improve water absorption and retention.
- Top-dress your turf with compost.
- Reduce non-permeable hardscape wherever possible.
- Place mulch over a plant’s root zone to reduce moisture evaporation and conserve water.
- Install drip irrigation systems.
- Install composting toilets in remote locations to reduce water and servicing requirements.
- Clean equipment with compressed air whenever possible. Grass clippings and debris should be collected and composted.
- Use gray water, reclaimed water, or collected rainwater for irrigation and equipment wash downs.
- Recycle gray water for irrigation and equipment wash downs.
- Buy hoses, tubing, trickle irrigation systems made from recovered plastic and old tires.
- Use bio-based cleaners and solvents for equipment.
- Install a green vegetated roof to reduce or eliminate stormwater and “heat island” effect.
- Purchase and incorporate plants that require minimal or no supplemental watering.
- Strategically plant vegetation outside and around buildings to reduce indoor heating and cooling needs
- Use the EPA WaterSense What to Plant tool to identify plants for your site
- Use hand or electric equipment where ever feasible to reduce emissions.
- Use biobased fuels and lubricants in place of petroleum.
- Implement scheduled equipment maintenance program for increased efficiency & reduced emissions
- Purchase biodiesel and biobased lubricants for your equipment.
- Compost makes an excellent air filter media for volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
- Specify Green Buildings requirements for building structures.
- Plant trees to replace those removed or damaged during construction.
- Buy locally produced goods and services whenever possible to reduce transportation emissions and costs.
- Purchase or rent fuel efficient vehicles for your fleet.
- Use high efficiency lighting for roadways, parking lots, security, and landscaping.
- Use solar powered lighting and signage wherever possible.
- Utilize solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources. Purchase “green power” from renewable energy sources if available.
WaterSenseU.S. Environmental Protection Agency – WaterSense, a partnership and volunteer program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, makes it easy for Americans to save water and protect the environment. When one sees a WaterSense label on a product, this means that it is water-efficient. Many products are available, and don’t require a change in your lifestyle.
Water Use It Wisely A website dedicated to the advancement of water conservation practices. This website contains a number of factsheets, links and other water-related resources readily available for download. It has resources for kids, too!