Enviroscaping is the art and science of establishing and maintaining an environment-friendly, more sustainable landscape, conserving and recycling the available natural resources. It is designed and established keeping in view the specific environmental issues associated with an area of land. Enviroscaping is a low-impact landscape that conserves energy and supports natural resources.
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Aspects of Enviroscaping
In short, enviroscaping aims at conserving energy/resources. it has the following environmental aspects:
Increasing heat directly impacts the overall global temperature. There is a need to conserve energy as much as possible to make the earth survivable for the coming generations. Planting shade trees, groundcovers, and windbreaks to make the surrounding environment a little bit cooler is an old and valuable practice. Trees and ground covers are the commodities that require the least maintenance. Once established, they will keep growing without demanding much attention. They provide shade, shelter, oxygen, and absorb carbon dioxide, air pollutants, unpleasant sounds, wind-shelter, and much more. Native plants are usually preferred in enviroscaping; however, some non-native plants grow better in local climates as compared with the native ones (Buffington & Black, 1985).
Soil conservation means keeping it healthy. Healthy soil can produce healthy plants that directly impact people’s lives and health. Soil filters the water and passes it into the natural waterways preventing soil erosion by conserving a seamless vegetative soil cover and providing life to the terrestrial animals.
Polluted air is the cause of numerous diseases and disorders in both humans and animals. Air quality also affects climate; for example, it can alter the precipitation level, which is directly related to rain patterns. Plants, either trees, shrubs, grass, container plants, or even indoor plants, can bring slow but impactful changes in the air quality. Plants constantly absorb carbon dioxide (which is one of the major gases among greenhouse gases), release oxygen, transpire one-third of the water they absorb, phytoremediation of the pollutants in the air and soil, and provide shelter to the wildlife, conserve biodiversity, and a lot more.
- In enviroscaping, evergreen plants, either trees or shrubs, are preferred.
- Native plants which require less water and maintenance and have less susceptibility to insect pests attack are given preference.
- The aim of planting trees in enviroscaping should be to bring positive changes in the air, soil, water quality, and health.
Solid waste management
Recycling is the best solution for managing solid waste. There should be a proper system to recycle the household waste at the house or town level so that it can be convenient to manage and redeliver. An enthusiast of enviroscaping would not let a single material go wasted that is of any use whatsoever. You can make compost, vermicompost, containers, and decorative materials for the plants from the solid waste.
Noise pollution disturbs wildlife, mating schedule, sense of hearing, etc.; plants absorb the sound waves and deflect them. In enviroscaping, plants are established in eye-catchy patterns to not only give an attractive view but also absorb unwanted sounds (Botteldooren, 2008).
Improving wildlife habitat
With the decrease in the trees and shelter places for the animals and birds and with the increase in the water, air, and noise pollution, wildlife is under serious threat. There is a need to conserve the wildlife in their natural and also outside their natural habitats to conserve the food chain. This is possible by establishing botanical gardens, gene pools, DNA banks, zoos, wildlife parks, etc.
Creating open-air living spaces
Decorating the outdoor spaces with plants and plant materials beautifies the environment and cleans the outdoor air.
Making home and work green places/value-addition
Creating patios, decks, and outside seating enhances the value of your property. Enviroscaping aims at establishing low-impact landscapes and gardens that conserve energy and natural resources. Backyard landscaping is one of the best parts of enviroscaping.
Filtering and reusing the drinking water
“If there is magic in nature, it is in the water.”
Water is the main driving force behind every life and mechanism. According to the WWF report, more than 1.1 billion people do not have access to fresh water, and 2.7 billion people face water scarcity for at least one month/year. It has been predicted that by 2025, 2/3rd of the world population may face water shortage problems.
Therefore, there should be a proper mechanism to harvest the rain and irrigation water. Catchment areas should be converted into vegetable gardens to not let even a drop of water go to waste.
Cleaning and filtering the outdoor and indoor air
There are many air cleaning machines, but none as efficient as plants. Plants have built-in mechanisms to take in the gases that are harmful to humans and the climate. The most dangerous gases present in indoor and outdoor air are carbon monoxide, methane, benzene, toluene, and many air pollutants like oxides of nitrogen and Sulphur. Not a single plant can absorb all pollutants; however, every single plant absorbs pollutants. If we can efficiently plant enough trees, keeping in mind their specifications, it is possible to control air pollution. We just have to take the initiative, and the plants will play the next role!
Conservation of natural resources
“If we fail in conserving our natural resources, we can never succeed in any field of life” Natural resources include water, soil, fossil fuels, minerals, and animals. Everything from food to fuel that human beings consume has a direct or indirect link with natural resources. The question is, how can we conserve these natural resources through enviroscaping?
- Recycle, reuse the water, plant trees that absorb minimum water from the soil, efficiently utilize the rainwater, build ponds and small dams to store excess water, etc.
- Plant trees and cover crops to prevent soil erosion, build soil’s organic matter, and restore soil biota.
- Fossil fuels come at the top of the list of causes of global warming and climate change. There is a need to switch to less destructive and more environment-friendly sources of energy, for example, solar cars, electric vehicles, etc.
Books and Publications on Enviroscaping
- Meerow, A. W., & Black, R. J. (1993). Enviroscaping to Conserve Energy: Guide to Microclimate Modification. University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, EDIS.
- Sharath, M. K., & Peter, K. V. (2019). Enviroscaping: An environment friendly landscaping. In Sustainable Green Technologies for Environmental Management (pp. 1-27). Springer, Singapore.
- Baruah, N., Sarkar, S., Roy, B. C., & Sinha, R. C. (2019). Quantitative analysis of sound absorption properties of plants in indoor environment for enabling sustainable practices. International Journal of Environmental Technology and Management, 22(4-5), 223-235.
- Buffington, d., & black, r. (1985). Plant materials for residential energy conservation–life cycle costing. In passive and low energy ecotechniques (pp. 795-805): Elsevier.
- Botteldooren, D., De Coensel, B., Van Renterghem, T., Dekoninck, L., & Gillis, D. (2008). The urban soundscape–a different perspective. Sustainable mobility in Flanders: The livable city, 177-204.