Justin White, landscaping course | Allied environmental additions for landscaping – Santa Cruz Sentinel
As landscapers, the great outdoors are our sacred realm and we have a responsibility to help care for them. Gardening and land management can be a restorative hobby for some, but it can also be a practical avenue to contribute to the environment. Producing more green materials will help purify the air, reduce pollution and generate pollination, which will result in a happier and cleaner planet. There are so many types of beneficial plants and trees that support the health of our Earth, but here are some of the favorites that work well in our Central Coast climate. Consider including more of these “green” options when planning your next outdoor space.
Fragrant and beautiful, lavender is a lush addition to any home or garden. It attracts beneficial insects, butterflies and bees, making it a valuable choice for pollination. Place this purple flowering plant near gardens where bees and other pollinators can’t resist its charm. The herb is also well known for its medicinal benefits, including its soothing, calming and healing properties. Resistant to warmer climates, lavender thrives here in California and is easy to care for, mostly requiring only sun and adequate drainage.
The larger the “plant”, the more carbon dioxide it can absorb and therefore the more oxygen it can release into the air. However, the larger the “plant”, the more dangerous it can be. Eucalyptus trees are here in great quantity whether we like it or not, so let’s start proactively and conscientiously nurturing and caring for them. Near the top of the list of carbon dioxide absorbers are eucalyptus trees which store around 70 pounds of CO2 per year! Established in the Santa Cruz region in the late 1800s, eucalyptus has become one of the most common trees on our coast.
This infamous western tree is a great addition to any California home. Redwoods, known as the tallest trees on Earth, can rise up to 350 feet in the wild and have an average lifespan of 600 years. Outperforming eucalyptus, studies have shown that redwoods capture more carbon dioxide from power plants, cars and trucks than any other type of tree on earth. The more CO2 they consume, the more they help fight climate change and improve our breathable air.
Trees can also contribute to air quality by providing shaded surfaces and cooler temperatures. If a house or building is assisted with shade from surrounding trees, it can reduce the need for conventional air conditioning and the associated gas emissions.
Even though Earth Day has just passed, don’t let that stop you from making an impact throughout the year. Contribute to our ecosystem by making conscious landscaping choices that will benefit our land for years to come!
Justin White is the CEO of K&D Landscaping, headquartered in Watsonville, California, which received the “Company of the Year 2020” award by the Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce. White is also the current president of the California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) local on the Central Coast. He is involved in several community non-profit organizations. For more information on landscaping, exterior and garden needs, contact K&D Landscaping at kndlandscaping.com.