Those of us who make our living by “shaping” our land and working closely within our environment must take responsibility for setting the highest standards for practices that nurture and protect our unique and beautiful world.
As far as we know, Earth is the only planet of its kind. In order to protect her natural resources and the vital health of the food chain, we in the landscape industry and others, must change the traditional methods of applying herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers that cause long term damage to nature’s balancing ecosystem and thus, life in general. And since “what goes around comes around” we need to re-examine how our practices can become positive contributions to ourselves, our clients and the world around us.
Fortunately, many are choosing to take this crucial path. There are organic solutions available and given time to work, yield more healthful landscapes and environments for all. This protects our water supply, our hard working beneficial insects, our birds and butterflies, the food they seek, the air we breath and in the end, our families and future generations.
The incorporation of cultural practices can also reduce the dependence upon chemical controls. For example, the inclusion of a variety of plant species (rather than a few) into a planting area, will significantly reduce the potential development of large pest populations. Eliminating the use of plants known to be susceptible to certain diseases or pests, also reduces a need for chemical controls. Plants will generally benefit from overall health if placed in proper exposures, are provided with proper soil conditions and adequate water. Mulching and grasscycling encourages beneficial microbial activity, retains soil moisture and helps keep weeds down.
There are other changes to embrace. We are seeing improvements in irrigation technology, specifically controllers, which will adjust water application based on the amount of water a plant grouping actually uses. Moving on, in the energy sector, we are seeing increased use in solar and wind applications, including research on wave generators for generating electricity. Even the automotive industry is beginning to take note. All of these applications support a more sustainable approach to environmental health. We are only scratching the surface of our potential to do so. We must do much, much more.
For those of us who care about the future of the world we live in, we have momentum and a new era of responsibility.
If we are open to educating ourselves and those around us about the long term benefits of sustainability, we can collectively make a difference. We will all benefit collectively. That is simply, “Earth Shaping”!