The year 2020 brought an influx of new experiences, challenges, and victories. As with every passing year, environmentalists and organizations worldwide encouraged sustainable practices, especially in the landscape industry. Let's look at the environmental tech advances this year and see where natural landscaping seems to be heading!
This year, we saw an influx of architects and landscapers coordinate as many new builds focused on adopting sustainable practices, such as roof-top gardens, built-in rainwater harvesting systems, and the use of solar panels. In several large cities in both the U.S. and other countries, developers strived to introduce plants and greenery into their construction projects. "Net-zero" energy design was also a particular focus for architects, meaning the amount of energy produced by the building equals the amount consumed. With the now-common sustainable buildings, we predict that 2021 will be full of new LEED-certified builds, as well as continued modifications of existing downtown areas to be more environmentally friendly.
For yard design, specifically, the focus has been and will likely continue to be on reusing materials. Especially with the economic inconsistencies that we faced in 2020, many people sought to produce less waste and use leftover materials whenever possible. From composting and using yard waste as mulch to drought-tolerant plantings, landscapers will likely use these sustainable practices for the foreseeable future.
Reducing the use of gas-powered equipment is not a novel idea, but this year, banning gas-powered leaf blowers has gained popularity. Several cities and counties took action after years of consideration, and the results significantly impact landscape maintenance companies. Multiple cities in California and Colorado completely banned the use of gas leaf blowers. Washington D.C. and a New York county implemented a law prohibiting these lawn tools' use beginning January 1st, 2022.
Those in favor of the new rule say these machines produce an excessive amount of emissions, and the switch to electric-powered will be incredibly beneficial for the environment. With such an easy alternative, the number of counties to enact such a rule will likely increase exponentially throughout 2021.
With each passing year, advances in technology combined with sustainable efforts have given us fancy new gadgets. Earlier this year, power tool company Husqvarna announced their latest robotic lawnmower. Husqvarna, which has several other automatic residential and commercial mowers already available, intends on providing an emissions-free, hands-free, low-cost yard care option. This newest lawn robot is their most impressive yet and can mow up to 12 acres at a time. Ideal for large commercial properties and golf courses, Husqvarna plans to release the machine in 2022.
Read more about the CEORA mower here.
For green landscaping, the future is bright. The challenging economic situations that came out of 2020 seemed to encourage (or force!) homeowners and professionals to think outside the box and develop landscape designs that sought to preserve our resources and incorporate nature whenever possible. Hopefully, landscapers and residents in the coming year will continue to do just that!
How has your landscape changed this year? Let us know below!