Landscape Sustainabilty Defined

September 19th, 2010  |  Published in Landscape Sustainability

As Californians, we live in a time and place that demands radical thinking and sustainable action if we are to preserve and improve the quality of life for future generations.  Daily, we are confronted with ominous issues such as global warming, pollution, drought, habitat loss and a host of other problems that feel as if they are beyond our control.

But at Landscape Resource, we believe countless solutions having an immediate and measurable impact to these pressing issues can be implemented right in our front and backyards.

So what is Sustainability?

Since “green” and “sustainable” have become overly-commoditized in the recent years, much of the emphasis has been lost when the average person runs across these terms.  As market competition becomes tighter and fiercer, companies have had to adopt these terms in attempt to set their business apart form the rest of the crowd.  A touch of “recycled this” and pinch of “re-purposed that” are the essential ingredients of this tasteless trend.  But with critical observation, it becomes glaringly obvious in some cases that the “greening” of a company is little more than a sleight of hand and clever market re-branding.  However, it should be noted that scores of companies have fully embraced and integrated sustainable and green practices into their business.  These companies should be applauded for their efforts.

With all thoughts on saturation aside, the notion of sustainability is one of utmost importance in a world of finite limits.  But ironically enough, sustainability, at first glance, seems to be entirely at odds to how we live our lives.  Each day, our actions are generally extractive and linear:  Take, Make, Waste.  But sustainability calls us to renewable and cyclical actions.  Can this conflict be reconciled?  Excitingly, and optimistically, our answer is YES.

Without waxing philosophically about the semantics of the word “sustainability” (which is quite a lively discussion these days), to Landscape Resource, sustainability is quite plainly sustain quote 001 Landscape Sustainabilty Definedcarefully planned actions driven by goodwill towards the environment”.  It could be argued that this definition is too simple and ignores too many “what if’s” and “how’s it’s”; both of which are legitimate claims.  However, what the definition lacks in scope it compensates with simplicity.  This definition offers an uncomplicated framework to encourage action, not just gab, without the stifling pressure of attempting to design, build, and tend to a cultivated landscape that is true to every definition of sustainability-which, also can be argued, is not possible.

Landscape sustainability is relative.  It is a moving target.  It is an ideal rather than a fixed point that can be reached.  Just as everyone has personal goals, such as being more considerate, more patient, etc., our collective landscape goals should be to design, build, and tend to gardens in a more sustainable way.  This interpretation may be too loose and too far from absolute sustainability for some, but this website is intended to encourage all levels of sustainability.  It is too easy to be cynical and critical of claims of sustainability.  It is much more challenging (and beneficial) to apply sustainable principles to the landscape.  At Landscape Resource, those with the desire to implement sustainable principles are applauded and respected.

Landscape Resource builds on this sentiment in its Sustainability Statement:

We are dedicated to the environmental and aesthetic improvement of our cultivated landscape.  We influence change and sustainable decision-making by providing inspiration and information that showcases environmentally responsible choices. 

Our motto “Growing Sustainabilitysummarizes our commitment to actively promote landscape sustainability as well as organize our business to succeed at no expense of the environment’s health.


Key Tenets of Sustainability in the Landscape:

Cyclical Integration Waste Free Benign Impacts Resource Productivity
cyclical integration Landscape Sustainabilty Defined waste free Landscape Sustainabilty Defined benign impacts Landscape Sustainabilty Defined  resource productivity Landscape Sustainabilty Defined


Final Thoughts:

The concept of sustainability will be revisited often and analyzed from an array of perspectives on this website through future blogs, articles, and hopefully, comments by the community.  Landscape Resource is excited to encourage deep dialogue, but more importantly, to showcase the attempts (both successes and failures) as a learning experience for all.

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