How To GreenScape
Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.
Think about the millions of tons of waste materials that are hauled away, buried, or burned each day from landscaping and grounds keeping operationstrees, shrubs, brush, lumber, asphalt, and concrete, just to name a few. Also, consider the millions of gallons of water, pesticides, fuels, and oils in use each and every day. The costs of these materialsboth economic and environmentalcan be easily reduced or eliminated with updated landscaping methods. Think how you might be able to incorporate the following elements into your daily operations:
Reducing the production of waste is the first and most important step toward efficient material use. When planning a new landscape design or updating a current one, avoid products that require frequent replacement or regular maintenance to reduce future waste.
Reuse serves as the second key component to environmentally beneficial landscaping. Reuse of products prolongs the useful life of these materials, thus delaying final disposal or recycling. Many items can be reused effectively without adding much time or energy.
Recycling is the segregation, collection, storage, and removal of recyclable or compostable materials from the municipal solid waste stream. Recycling minimizes waste generation by recovering and reprocessing usable products that might otherwise be disposed of (e.g., plastics, green trimmings, food waste).
Rebuying means re-thinking your purchasing habits. Look for products that meet your needs but have a better environmental profile than your current product purchases. Consider biobased, recycled content, and other environmentally preferable aspects in your purchasing decisions. Recycled products, for example, are often more durable than those made with virgin materials, saving money and raw materials over time.
Rebuying is key to sustaining recycling markets, and it aids in the development of technology that conserves resources and prevents waste. You can work with your managers, clients, suppliers, and vendors to identify and establish specifications to purchase various environmentally preferable products. Use the product reminder list to help you identify and purchase biobased or recycled-content products for landscaping construction or maintenance projects.