APLD's Commitment to Sustainability
If we define sustainability as living today without degrading tomorrow, what do we do about it? If, as designers, we believe that design has the power to shape the future and that sustainability is something to strive for, how do we incorporate sustainability into our projects?
APLD has developed the following guides on various aspects of sustainability:
- APLD Guide to Sustainable Soils: A document that outlines the main things landscape professionals should know about soils, from the physical, chemical, and biological properties of soil and their interactions to the role of soils in sustainability. The soil food web is covered and a variety of soil additives are discussed. We have also included specific recommendations for designers. Feel free to download and share this guide.
- Lawns: In many countries, the lawn has long been a symbol of public pride. The lawn has also created a set of environmental problems we must address. The goal of this brochure is to present options and alternatives for the lawn. We may call the ‘weeds’ or ‘pests’ undesirable, but they are all members of the ecosystem that comprise a balanced, diverse and healthy environment. Yet we continuously fight to keep them out of our lawns. Let’s help redefine the lawn into a friendly element of our everyday landscape.
- Guidelines for Creating Environmentally Responsible Landscapes: This publication represents the landscape design community’s desire to better assist in making more prudent and informed environmental decisions in residential landscapes. Consequences of previous decision-making now threaten not only the well-being of the air, water, land, and wildlife, but of our own human community as well.
- Water in the Landscape -- APLD Guidelines for Designing Landscapes That Respect Water Resources: This is a summary of water management from a sustainability perspective.
- Native Plants in the Landscape -- APLD’s Commitment: This piece defines native plants and presents an overview of their importance in the landscape.
Below are other resources relating to sustainability:
- The Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) – a set of voluntary national guidelines and performance benchmarks for sustainable landscape design, construction and maintenance practices. APLD is a Participating Organization with SITES and strongly recommends the guidelines developed by the Initiative.
- Lawn Reform Coalition – a coalition of gardening and environmental advocates based in the United States, advocating change in the American lawn and providing tools and resources to facilitate lawn re-design.
- US Green Building Council (USGBC) – a non-profit trade organization based in Washington, D.C. that promotes sustainability in how buildings are designed, built, and operated, responsible for the green building certification program known as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)
- Living Building Challenge – a philosophy, advocacy tool and certification program developed by the International Living Future Institute that addresses development at all scales, and comprising seven performance areas: Site, Water, Energy, Health, Materials, Equity and Beauty.
- The United States Environmental Protection Agency: Green Infrastructure – an explanation of green infrastructure and a compilation of tools, resources, and case studies.