Building sustainability from the ground up
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Building Sustainability From the Ground Up - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Building Sustainability From the Ground Up. GreenScapes is:. Multi-media EPA Partnership Program designed to promote a wide variety of environmentally beneficial landscaping and land management practices. GreenScapes is:.

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Building Sustainability From the Ground Up

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Building Sustainability From the Ground Up

GreenScapes is:

  • Multi-media EPA Partnership Program designed to promote a wide variety of environmentally beneficial landscaping and land management practices.

GreenScapes is:

  • Designed to help preserve natural resources and prevent waste and pollution by encouraging more holistic decisions regarding waste, water, chemicals, energy, and land use.

GreenScapes is:

  • Designed to provide cost-efficient and environmentally friendlysolutions - improving both an organization’s bottom-line and the environment.

Think Big:

  • Roads & Highways

  • Commercial Buildings

  • Industrial Sites

  • Military Installations

  • Brownfields

  • Colleges & Universities

  • Recreation areas - parks, golf courses, ski resorts, amusement parks, …

Think about:

  • Millions of tons of waste materials that are

    • Hauled away to a landfill,

    • Buried, or

    • Burned

      Each and every day from landscaping construction and maintenance operations:

    • Trees

    • Shrubs,

    • Brush

    • Lumber

    • Asphalt

    • Concrete, etc…

Also, consider the millions of gallons of:

  • Water

  • Pesticides

  • Fertilizers

  • Fuels

  • Oil

    Used each & every day in building and maintaining these lands.

Make more holistic and sustainable decisions regarding and the impact each of these has on the other:

  • Waste generation & disposal

  • Use of

    • Water

    • Chemicals

    • Air

    • Plants

    • Energy

    • Land & Wetlands

The GreenScapes Solution Focus on the 4 Rs

  • Reduce

  • Reuse

  • Recycle

  • Rebuy


  • The first and most important step towards efficient use of resources & pollution prevention.


  • Waste generation by utilizing slow-growing, low maintenance plant materials.

  • Water use - Incorporate compost into the soil to help improve water absorption and retention.

  • Pesticide use - Implement an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program.

  • Energy - Strategically plant vegetation outside and around buildings to reduce indoor heating and cooling needs

  • Avoid landscaping products that require frequent replacement or maintenance to reduce future waste.

    • Durable products will long outlast those of lesser quality, reducing future waste generation and the need to purchase new or replacement products.


  • Reduce or eliminate plastic silt fencing... and worse

  • Substitute with blankets, berms, and filter-socks made of compost.

Compost provides:

  • Superior filtration & erosion prevention/control

  • More easily installed & maintained

  • Control & reduction of non-point source pollution.

  • Does not require removal or disposal from site once job is complete

A few additional ways to reduce:

  • Reduce nonpermeable hardscape to minimize rainwater runoff & erosion.

  • Switch from benches, boardwalks & bridges made from wood to long-lived plastic lumber.

  • Conserve water and reduce maintenance by Xeriscaping.

  • Reduce chemical use by using native plants and organic biobased fertilizers.


  • Key to effective management by making the most of your valuable resources -

    • Financial

    • Materials


  • Waste - Chip woody waste and tree clippings into mulch for use on-site.

  • Reuse soils within the work site; create mounds or berms to serve as wind breaks or to add visual interest.

  • Water - Use collected rainwater for irrigation and water features.

Ways to reuse:

  • Chip trees and wood waste into mulch.

    • Saves money on disposal costs and commercial mulch purchases

    • Provides benefits of mulch:

      • Moisture retention

      • Weed prevention

      • Erosion control

Additional reuse options:

  • Disassemble and use structural wood elsewhere, sell or grind into mulch. Return wooden pallets to your supplier whenever possible.

  • Donate healthy plants to community gardens, schools, churches, or other local local non-profit organizations when updating or removing trees & shrubs from landscape.

  • Use alternative sources of irrigation water such as gray water, reclaimed water, and collected rain water.


  • Save money on disposal costs, by recycling waste materials

    – you may even be able to get a few dollars for them.


  • Waste - Send green waste and food waste that cannot be composted on site to a local composting facility.

  • Waste - Provide recycling receptacles next to trash receptacles.

  • Water - Recycle gray water for irrigation and equipment wash downs.


  • Recycle plastic fencing, barriers, plant & pesticide containers.

  • Collect and recycle used oil & tires from your vehicles and equipment.


  • 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.


  • Recycled content

  • Biobased products (incl. fuels & lubricants)

  • Renewable energy & products

  • Energy & water efficient

    Rebuying is key to sustainability by putting valuable materials back to work .

    Change your thinking:

    It’s not waste – it’s another resource.


  • Waste - Select long-lived durable products such as composite lumber.

  • Water - Install a green vegetated roof to reduce or eliminate stormwater and "heat island" effect.

  • Fertilizers - Purchase organic, biobased, or slow-release fertilizers

  • Energy - Use high efficiency lighting for roadways, parking lots, security, and landscaping.

For example:

  • Use compost to minimize / eliminate:

    • Soil erosion

    • Runoff

    • Nonpoint source pollution

    • Irrigation

    • Fertilizers

    • Pesticides

      It’s both a recycled & biobased product.

A Proven Technique

  • Compost blankets, berms, and filter socks have been added to the US EPA menu of Best Management Practices (BMPs) for storm water management - NPDES.

  • State DoT’s are specifying compost for roadside erosion control.


Did You Know?:

  • For every 1% of organic matter, the soil can hold 16,000 gallons of plant-available water per acre of soil down to one foot deep!

  • Most soils average approx. 1% organic content

  • Healthy soils average 5-6%

    (5 x 16,000 = 80,000 gallons water holding capacity)

Better, Faster, Cheaper Cleanups

  • Provides an inexpensive & straightforward solution to managing hazardous industrial waste streams & remediating soils contaminated with toxic organic and inorganic compounds.

Proven effective for:

  • Chlorinated & nonchlorinated hydrocarbons

  • Wood-preserving chemicals

  • Solvents

  • Heavy metals

  • Pesticides

  • Petroleum products

  • Explosives

Returns site to precontamination condition

  • Provides soil conditioning

  • Nutrients

  • Water retention

  • Erosion control

  • Micro-organisms essential for healthy soil


  • Select plastic lumber made from recycled bottles & bags.

    • Extremely durable

    • Lasts longer than wood

    • Requires less maintenance than wood

      • Labor

      • Paint / solvents

      • Repairs

    • Significant long-term savings.


  • Specify rubberized asphalt (made from recycled tires) for:

    • Walking paths

    • Bike paths

    • Cart paths

    • Parking lots

      Extends the life of the trails and reduces frequency of repairs.

Benefits of just these 3 products:CompostPlastic lumberRubberized asphaltEvery scrap of organics, plastics (LDPE, HDPE, PET), and tires generated in the entire U.S could be put to use by the landscaping industry alone.


  • Equal or better performance

  • Material cost savings

  • Labor cost savings

  • All of this means money in your pocket.

Reduced water use

Reduced irrigation costs – water & energy

Reduced plant growth

Reduced plant maintenance

Reduced waste generation

Reduced labor – time & cost (maint. & disposal)

Reduced equipment operating times

Reduced equip. maint. – labor & supplies

Reduced fuel use

Reduced emissions

Reduced fertilizer use – material & labor savings

Reduced pesticide use –material & labor savings

Reduced nonpoint source pollution

Reduced exposure to hazardous materials

Reduce insurance costs

The Economic & Environmental Benefits of GreenScaping:

Additional Benefits of GreenScaping:

  • Reduced exposure to

    your customers,

    employees, and yourself

    from potentially harmful

    chemicals, solvents, fuels,

    and pesticides.

Additional Benefits of GreenScaping:

  • Improved competitive edge with reduced costs and improved materials & energy efficiency.

Additional Benefits of GreenScaping:

  • Improved public perception of your business.

Additional Benefits of GreenScaping:

  • Knowledge that you are making a difference by helping prevent pollution, curb climate change, and reduce your “environmental footprint” on the Earth.


EPA Partnership program to implement & promote “green” landscaping practices

  • Partners & Allies

  • Provides state-of-the-art recommendations

    • Web-based cost calculators & resources

      • Multi-media … continually updated

      • Large & Small scale

        National Recognition Program & Case Studies

  • GreenScapes:

    • A growing group of organizations, large and small, coming together to promote green landscaping practices.

    • Currently 185+ including:

      • US Green Building Council

      • American Society of Landscape Architects

      • American Nursery & Landscape Association

      • Home Depot

    Coordination with other national efforts:

    • GreenScapesand EPA is actively involved in the Sustainable Sites Initiative

    • Many site features are not fully addressed under the current Green Building LEED® standards, but are essential to the sustainability of green spaces

    • Establish a standard for sustainable site design, construction, and maintenance with clearly defined metrics. The USGBC will incorporate SSI into the next version of LEED – a “bookshelf” system

    • For more info:

    GreenScapes is also working with:

    • EMS guidance to enhance and amplify green landscaping

    • The Federal “Green Highways” initiative

    • Both encourage more “sustainable” construction & maintenance practices




    Air quality



    CPG / EPP

    Green Buildings


    Smart Growth

    Low Impact Development

    Green Infrastructure

    GreenScapes involves:

    GreenScapes now includes information & recommendations for Homeowners

    Commercial business Homeowner guide

    & industry guide

    … educating homeowners by

    • Working with local governments, homeowner associations, county extension agents

    • Working with large retail organizations such as Home Depot & Walmart

    • Working with and supporting our 190+ GreenScapes Partners & Allies

    The Future is Now – Get Ahead of the Game

    • More Federal, State, and local gov’ts will specify “sustainable” & “low impact development” techniques.

    • Businesses and industry are focusing on sustainability.

    • Homeowners are seeking out a growing number of “green” practices and products.

    Step #1 – Save money (via GreenScapes)Step #2 – Find new money:

    • EPA's 2008 Request for Applications for Smart Growth Implementation Assistance is now open until May 8, 2008.

    • Competitive solicitation open to state, local, regional, and tribal governments (and non-profits that have partnered with a governmental entity) that want to incorporate smart growth techniques into their future development.

    • For more information and application materials, please go to:


    Thank You


    For more info …

    Jean Schwab

    (703) 308-8669

    Join Us!

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