Getting Back to the Simple Life with Sustainable Landscapes

Posted: June 15, 2024
Category: Lawn & Garden Feature

Being part of a community working towards a common goal resonates with Gen Z and Millennials. Understanding the causes both generations are passionate about will help retailers select products that appeal to these audiences. Sustainable landscaping is more than a trend that will eventually fade away. Younger homeowners and people committed to being environmentally friendly have made going green a lifestyle that dictates their buying decisions.

The eco-landscaping concept applies commonly accepted economic principles to creating healthy, revitalized, and viable landscapes. Ultimately, the practice will save money, time, and energy and protect the environment. Perhaps that is why sustainability has become a topic of conversation for people who are purchasing a home. The results of a recent National Realtors Association Survey found:

  • 51 percent of real estate professionals say their clients are interested in sustainability
  • 12 percent say green features are the reason they bought their home
  • 10 percent say landscaping for energy conservation is important

Plants are essential for sustainability
Selecting plants that are good for specific locations is essential to green landscaping. Retailers selling plants or operating greenhouses should also consider adding native plants or cultivars to their traditional plant assortments. These live goods may attract diverse customers and engage shoppers who may be bird lovers or conservationists. Since native plants are regional, seek vendors who understand the types of plants that will thrive in your area. Consult with local experts who can help you avoid purchasing invasive species.

Selling drought-tolerant plants to homeowners who live in arid regions in the west and southwest where water usage is restricted or in limited supply enables shoppers to continue to enjoy the natural beauty of plants. Additionally, people are saving money by replacing fencing with landscape hedges that form a living wall that provides a natural habitat for wildlife.

Compost and other organic materials
Nearly 70 percent of the polluted water results from stormwater runoff, and about one of these pollutants are due to chemicals used in yards and homes. Green gardeners avoid using chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. Instead, they depend on organic materials and compost in the soil to grow healthy plants. Over time, you may notice fewer traditional lawns and more clover fields. Clover lawns require less water and fertilizer and are beneficial for bees and other pollinators.

Eco-friendly building materials
Green enthusiasts are also using recycled alternatives for traditional hardscaping materials. Permeable pavers are better for their purposes than concrete because the material allows water to seep into the ground instead of running into storm sewers that connect to waterways. Other popular materials include river stones, recycled plastic, and sustainably harvested bamboo. Garden Centers that offer landscaping design may consider giving customers the option to go green.

Equipment to Conserve Moisture
There are several environmentally friendly ways for homeowners to conserve or manage water. Placing organic mulch around the yard or garden is a common practice to retain moisture in the soil and prevent weeds. Rain chains are easy to use and replace the downspout to manage the flow of water that would otherwise rush through the downspout. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, collecting water in rain barrels can save up to 1,300 gallons of water during summer. The water is suitable for plants since it is free of minerals and chlorine and doesn’t require filtering. While the costs of rain arrows run the gamut, they offer significant benefits that make them a worthwhile investment.

  • Saves homeowners money on water bills
  • Conserves water in dry conditions or droughts
  • Reduces pollutants that enter the waterways from stormwater runoff
  • Prevents overflowing water that causes soil erosion

Lawn Care Equipment
A push mower is one of the best ways to get a good workout and maintain the lawn. Some homeowners choose this tool because it doesn’t emit pollution. Since manual mowers don’t have engines or require tune-ups, many people consider them more economical than gas mowers—especially those who want to reduce their carbon footprint. While electric mowers are another option, they may be less attractive to conservationists since they require energy to operate. Saving time, energy, and money are all factors to be considered when maintaining a sustainable landscape.

Keeping Things Simple
Living sustainably can be hard work since many of the comforts people are accustomed to may not fit into a green lifestyle. Using a push mower, composting, and catching run water may only be the beginning of a long list of progressive changes. However, homeowners committed to creating sustainable landscapes must buy plants, tools, soil, gardening equipment, and other things sold in a hardware store. Awareness of changing buying behaviors will help retailers make better purchasing decisions and attract younger customers who prefer organic and sustainable products.