April is National Landscape Architecture Month

This month is National Landscape Architecture Month.  April is also African American Women’s Fitness Month, International Cesarean Awareness Month, Emotional Overeaters Awareness Month, Irritable Bowel Syndrome Month & Nationally Sexually Transmitted Diseases Month just to name a few.  (From the site here.)  I’m promoting Landscape Architecture since I have a Bachelor’s of Science in Landscape Architecture (B.S.L.A.) from Purdue University.  I am a Registered Landscape Architect with the State of Indiana.  I am a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).

My training in Landscape Architecture has helped with many aspects of my career.  It is a diverse field and part of the training is in how to meld those diverse disciplines together.  I worked for a Civil Engineer in Atlanta for several years after graduation.  I often served as the intermediary between the Landscape Architecture firms that provided designs and the Civil Engineering firm that I worked for by interpreting the aesthetic designs as the engineers reduced them and transformed them into the hardline plans that met the required codes.

For the past 13 years I have been involved with the Lake Maxinkuckee Environmental Council.  It has been interesting seeing how some involved have interpreted the role of the organization.  I have tried to promote our role by using one of Landscape Architecture’s main credos, “Be Good Stewards of the Landscape”.  I’ve always interpreted this to mean using the landscape to its highest use without destroying or diminishing it, all the while preserving it for future generations.  This has been my vision of Lake Maxinkuckee — a resource that can be used, but should not be used up.  A resource that can be enjoyed today while still protecting and preserving it for future generations.

I have been trying to apply this same principle to the current “Green Movement”.  Unfortunately I think much of what is being promoted as green is nothing more than greenwashing.  Some of those promoting and participating in what is touted as green are being swayed by narrow goals rather than taking a holistic approach and looking at all aspects of a proposed solution.  I’ve yet to be completely swayed by the CFL movement to replace incandescent bulbs.  I’m not sure the extended life and reduced power consumption truly offset the clean-up and end-of-life issuesthat CFL’s experience.  That said, the new LED bulbs, while even more expensive at initial purchase, do show promise.  That said, I’ve been unable to find much information regarding the disposal or recycling of LED bulbs.  I guess at 5x’s the life span of CFL’s which equals 50x’s the lifespan of standard incandescent bulbs, no one is worrying about their end-of-life issues at this point…

Unintended consequences are a concern with any change.  Best efforts should be made to account for these possibilities and the potential downside.  Unintended consequences aren’t always negative, but unfortunately more often than not, that is what is recognized.

I plan to start a series/category here that I will title “Green that saves Green” where I give ideas related to construction that are not only environmentally friendly, but also have monetary benefits.  These will be ideas that will be implemented at Easterday Construction as we move forward.  Comments and suggestions are welcome.  Next week I will have an entry on “California Corners”.

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