Benefits of Native Landscaping
Not only can landscaping help save on heating and cooling, but it helps enhance your property value. Better yet, if you invest and landscape with native plants, you save money, time, and reduce your impact on the environment.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1 hour of mowing uses as much gas as driving a car 20 miles. Each summer, 580 million gallons of gas are used on lawn maintenance with one acre of lawn costing between $400-$700 annually to maintain.
In addition to monetary costs, lawn maintenance emits 5% of ozone-forming VOCs, which adversely effect health and contribute to climate change. 67 million pounds of pesticides are applied to lawns annually, and 40% to 60% of nitrogen and phosphorous from fertilizers contaminate water sources. Turf grass, which characteristically has much shorter root system, contributes to pollution because it is unable to stabilize soils as well as native plants. This leads to runoff, erosion, flooding, and habitat destruction.
The benefits of native landscaping includes reducing maintenance, decreasing negative environmental impacts, benefiting wildlife and providing habitat, and beautifying property. Native plants are adapted to local climate and thrive year-round with little to no maintenance.
The environmental benefits include:
- Created habitat and food for wildlife
- Decreased runoff, erosion, stream channelization, and flooding
- Improved air quality by reducing dust and air pollution
- Increased water retention
- Reduced energy consumption by buildings
- Reduced exposure of children, adults, pets, and wildlife to pesticides and fertilizers