Sustainability at GBBG - Apr 28, 2014
By: Beth Ledvina, Sustainability Intern
(The Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Garden)
Innovative and fun design can also be sustainable and several installations can be found at the garden. The Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Garden is located on a hot, exposed hillside which makes it ideal for a xeriscape garden. The xeriscape style reduces the water use by 50-75% by using drought tolerant plants native to the region. It also does not require fertilizers and pesticides and is pollution free. Native plants, trees, and shrubs also offer familiar and varied habitat for local wildlife. You can put a xeriscape landscape in your home by utilizing drought resistant and native plants.
(The Hobbit House, photo courtesy of Amenson Studios)
You probably know about the Hobbit House but you may not know that it was built with energy and water saving qualities in mind. It was built into the hillside, which minimizes the heating and cooling requirements and the solar light tubes reduce electrical lighting needs. The Hobbit House is also covered by a Green Roof, or a layer of vegetation over the roof, that removes air pollution, storm water runoff, filters pollutants from rainfall and provides habitat.
You can see some of the composting at the garden in the Children’s Garden where a composting bin is used to convert food scraps into usable soils diverting organics from the landfill and improving the soils. You can see two bins; one that requires manual turning and one that has a lever to turn the compost.
Last week’s blog focused on water usage. GBBG installed toilets with a dual flush option that allows users to only use the amount of water necessary. Dual flush means that each toilet has two flush options; one for solid waste and one for liquid waste (which includes some toilet paper). Conventional toilets flush 1.6 gallons of water every time. These toilets require only 1.1 gallons with the reduced flush setting. This saves ½ a gallon of water with each flush and considering the number of visitors we have, that adds up to a lot of saved water. Next time you’re here be sure to pay attention to these toilets and make your own small impact!