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GreenScape Resources


GreenScapes Activities

GreenScapes Activities List provides simple, cost-effective, and sustainable solutions to increase resource efficiency.

GreenScapes Tip Sheet (PDF) (3 pp, 104K, about PDF) provides tips for reducing or eliminating the economic and environmental cost of waste materials, water, pesticides, fuels, and oils from landscaping and grounds keeping operations.

GreenScapes Rebuy Checklist (PDF) (2 pp, 74K, about PDF) presents possible options to help improve your environmental profile and bottom line by re-thinking your purchasing habits.

GreenScapes Cost Calculators

Downloadable Excel spreadsheets that can aid in your decision making and implementation of more sustainable landscape design, construction, and operations and maintenance.

Climate Change Tools

EPA and its partners have developed tools to help individuals and organizations determine the greenhouse gas impacts of their purchasing, manufacturing and waste management actions.

Environmental Management Systems (EMS)

Integrating Environmentally Beneficial Landscaping into Your EMS (PDF) (13 pp, 101K, about PDF)
Developed by GreenScapes and EPA’s EMS program, this document provides practical guidance, potential language, and examples of environmentally beneficial landscaping practices for each of the EMS elements.

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Presentations from GreenScapes Workshops Conducted at the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) 2006 Annual Meeting & Expo

Presentations from GreenScapes workshops—Building Sustainable Sites From the Ground Up

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GreenScapes Publications

Image: cover of GreenScapes: Environmentally Friendly Landscaping

GreenScapes: Environmentally Beneficial Landscaping | PDF Version (8 pp, 757K, about PDF)

Brochure describing EPA’s GreenScapes program, providing cost-efficient and environmentally friendly solutions for large-scale landscaping.

image: cover of Greenscaping Your Lawn and Garden Greenscaping Your Lawn and Garden (PDF) (8 pp, 1.6MB, about PDF) | en Español (PDF) (8 pp, 3.1MB, about PDF)

Booklet encouraging consumers to grasscycle, mulch, and compost to reduce the amount of yard waste in the waste stream.

Image: cover of GreenScaping: The Easy Way to a Greener, Healthier Yard

GreenScaping: The Easy Way to a Greener, Healthier Yard | PDF Version (16 pp, 2.1MB, about PDF) | en Español (PDF) (16 pp, 2.7MB, about PDF)

Booklet telling consumers how changing their landscapes to GreenScapes can save time and money and protect the environment.


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Analysis of Composting as an Environmental Remediation Technology
Summarizes information on the use of compost for managing hazardous waste streams and for remediating contaminated soil.

Backyard Composting: It’s Only Natural (PDF) (2 pp, 627K)
Provides reasons for composting, what you need to do to make compost, what to add and what not to add, and troubleshooting hints.

EPA website providing information and publications on composting.

Composting at Mine Sites
Contains information on composting technologies applicable to addressing contamination at abandoned mine land sites

Compost in Landscaping Applications (PDF) (20 pp, 68K, about PDF)
Describes ways in which landscapers can use compost to create cost-effective, high quality, and environmentally beneficial projects.

Compost—New Applications For an Age-Old Technology
Series of fact sheets addressing innovative and cost-effective uses of compost to remediate or prevent pollution. Discuss how compost can be used to clean contaminated soils; remove oil, grease, and heavy metals from storm water runoff; destroy VOCs; and facilitate reforestation, wetlands restoration, and revitalize wildlife habitats.

Compost Use Guidelines and Specifications Exit EPA
Website presenting compiled results of a comprehensive search to identify guidelines for different categories of compost use. Provides information that will help you identify a compost product best suited to your needs.

Compost Use in Forest Land Restoration (PDF) (36 pp, 2MB, about PDF)
Provides examples of using compost to successfully restore lands disturbed by forest management activities in the Pacific Northwest; many can be expanded for use in other environments with consideration of local conditions.

Compost Utilization for Erosion Control (PDF) (8 pp, 3.8MB, about PDF) Exit EPA
Defines compost and erosion, describes the benefits of using compost for erosion control, discusses application, and provides recommended specifications.

Landscape Architecture/Design Specifications for Compost Use (PDF) (14 pp, 251K, about PDF), US Composting Council
Provides specifications for turf establishment with compost, planting bed establishment with compost, compost as a landscape backfill mix component, compost as a landscape mulch, compost as a soil blanket for erosion control, and compost as a filter berm for sediment control.

Organic Materials Management Strategies (PDF) (58 pp, 451K, about PDF)
Describes seven composting strategies for organic materials and presents an analysis of the benefits and costs of each strategy, the potential for diverting organic materials from landfills or waste-to-energy facilities, and the potential markets for diverted organic materials.

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Green Buildings

US Green Building Council Exit EPA
Promotes buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work.

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Green Landscaping

Bay-Friendly Rating Manual for Civic and Commercial Landscapes (PDF) (144 pp, 1.4MB, about PDF)
The Bay-Friendly Rating Manual is an essential tool to successfully implement the Bay-Friendly Scorecard for Civic and Commercial Landscapes Exit EPA. It is written for landscape design and construction professionals and Bay-Friendly Raters, as a guide in describing and verifying the practices in the Scorecard. Bay-Friendly Landscaping & Gardening is a whole systems approach to the design, construction and maintenance of landscapes that contributes to the health of the San Francisco Bay Watershed.

Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Handbook (PDF) (52 pp, 5.2MB, about PDF) Exit EPA
Describes how to minimize nonpoint source pollution from landscapes, especially residential ones. This booklet from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is an integral part of the Florida Yards & Neighborhoods (FYN) program Exit EPA being implemented in certain parts of the state by the Cooperative Extension Service.

Guidance for Federal Land Management in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
Presents the most effective tools and practices to address nonpoint source pollution that is currently contributing nutrients and sediments from federal land management activity in the Chesapeake Bay watershed

Best Management Practices, Public Information, and Environmental Education Resources Exit EPA
Florida’s web page for best management practices, guides and resources. Includes best management practices for urban and golf, agriculture, and silviculture.

Low Impact Development Technologies from the Whole Building Design Guide Exit EPA
Presents an alternative site design strategy that uses natural and engineered infiltration and storage techniques to control storm water where it is generated.

Natural Yard Care Exit EPA
Seattle Public Utilities Web site providing five easy steps to a great-looking, easy-care yard that’s also healthier for kids, pets, and the environment.

Organic Landscaping Exit EPA
Presents the transition of its maintenance programs from conventional to fully organic methods by Harvard University’s Landscape Services team in the Facilities Maintenance Operations group (FMO)

Plant Conservation Alliance Exit EPA
Consortium of ten federal government agencies and many non-federal members whose mission is to protect native plants by ensuring that native plant populations and their communities are maintained, enhanced, and restored.

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Recycled-Content Products

Plastic Lumber in Landscaping Applications (PDF) (22 pp, 64K, about PDF)
Plastic lumber, a product made from recycled plastic, is ideal for use in landscaping applications. By using plastic lumber, landscapers can create cost-effective, high quality, and environmentally beneficial projects.

Recycled Rubber Products in Landscaping Applications (PDF) (19 pp, 63K, about PDF)
Rubber from scrap tires is a waste material that is ideal for use in landscaping applications. By using recycled rubber products, landscapers can create cost-effective, high quality, and environmentally beneficial projects. The landscaping market is potentially large enough to recover all the scrap tires that are currently discarded in landfills or tire piles.

EPA’s Comprehensive Procurement Guideline (CPG) program helps organizations “close the loop” through buying recycled products. EPA published a series of product guides summarizing information on recycled products for various applications. Four CPG fact sheets relate directly to GreenScapes and can be found online.

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Glass Reuse and Recycling Directory (PDF) (137 pp, 454K, about PDF)
A compilation of noncontainer alternatives for reusing and recycling glass, especially glass bottles and jars, the information was gathered from state and provincial governmental agencies of the United States and Canada, as well as the respective state and provincial recycling organizations, and from articles from magazines and conferences.

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Water Efficiency

Green Streets: A Conceptual Guide to Effective Green Streets Design Solutions (PDF) (7 pp, 5.9MB, about PDF)
Provides guidance for green design solutions to include: residential streets, commercial streets, arterial streets, and alleys

National Management Measures to Control Nonpoint Source Pollution from Urban Areas
Provides guidance to help citizens and municipalities in urban areas protect bodies of water from polluted runoff that can result from everyday activities. These scientifically sound techniques are the best practices known today

National Menu of Best Management Practices for Stormwater Phase II
Provides guidance to regulated small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) as to the types of practices they could use to develop and implement their stormwater management programs.

Reduce Runoff: Slow It Down, Spread It Out, Soak It In
Watch this video that showcases green techniques that are being used in urban areas to reduce the effects of stormwater runoff on the quality of downstream receiving waters. The goal is to mimic the natural way water moves through an area before development by using design techniques that infiltrate, evaporate, and reuse runoff close to its source.

Using Water Efficiently: Ideas for Residences
Defines water-efficient landscape irrigation.

Water Efficient Landscaping: Preventing Pollution & Using Resources Wisely (PDF) (19 pp, 1.6MB)
Describes the benefits of water-efficient landscaping; includes several examples of successful projects and programs, as well as contacts, references, and a short bibliography

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Soil Best Practices

Ecological Revitalization: Turning Contaminated Properties Into Community Assets Exit EPA
Provides technical information to assist property managers and other stakeholders better understand, coordinate, and conduct ecological revitalization at contaminated properties during cleanup, presents general planning and process considerations for ecological revitalization and provides technical considerations for implementing ecological revitalization of wetlands, streams, and terrestrial ecosystems during cleanup.

How To: Soil Best Management Practices, Tools, & Specifications Exit EPA
Provides information on preserving native soil and restoring soils disturbed during development with organic amendments like compost to reduce stormwater runoff and pollution; to reduce landscape maintenance needs for water, fertilizer, and pesticides; and to make healthier, more attractive landscapes.

Resource Efficient Natural Landscaping: Design, Build, Maintain (PDF) (8 pp, 817K, about PDF) Exit EPA
Provides design, building, and maintenance tips for professionals.

The Use of Soil Amendments for Remediation, Revitalization, and Reuse (59 pp, 1.7MB, about PDF) Exit EPA
Describes soil amendments, the advantages of using them, the types of environmental problems and contaminants they can address, the types of sites where they can be used, and regulatory and other issues related to using them. It focuses on the use of amendments on sites dominated by inorganic contaminants, although they also can be used to address volatile and semivolatile contaminants that have left sites barren of vegetation.

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Air and Energy

Your Yard and Clean Air
Addresses the emissions from lawn mowers and provides suggestions for pollution prevention in your own backyard.

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Periodical Articles

Composting Helps Battle Erosion on Roadway Projects Exit EPA
Addresses incorporation of compost for controlling erosion into highway project designs. Features an interview with Jean Schwab, GreenScapes program manager. Gwenyth Laird Pernie in Construction Equipment Guide News, August 2005

Special Report: ‘Green’ Landscapes – Going Deeper into ‘Green’ Exit EPA
Planting landscapes for environmental benefits is the beginning, but, according to this article, the next step is paying greater attention to equipment and processes. Includes a spotlight on GreenScapes. Cathy Walker in Maintenance Solutions, April 2005

Special Report: ‘Green’ Landscapes – “Greening the Grounds” Exit EPA
Provides ways to encourage eco-friendly environments by reducing chemical use (e.g., herbicides, fertilizers, pesticides) and improving water awareness and conservation. Editorial Staff in Maintenance Solutions, April 2005

EPA Program Sows Seeds for Greener Landscaping (PDF) (1 pg, 47K) Exit EPA
Announces the launch of the GreenScapes Alliance. The Green Business Letter, January 2004, reprinted with permission.

New GreenScapes Program Promotes Environmentally Beneficial Landscaping (PDF) (1 pg, 193K) Exit EPA
Describes EPA’s GreenScapes program, designed to broaden and enhance reduction, reuse and recycling of waste materials generated as part of large-scale landscaping operations. B-RAP News (Business Recycling Assistance Program), South Carolina (SC) Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Center for Waste Minimization and Office of Solid Waste Reduction and Recycling, the SC Department of Commerce’s Recycling Market Development Advisory Council and the University of South Carolina’s Industrial Ecology Program, January 1, 2004.

Roadside Landscaping Turns to Compost (PDF) (8 pp, 483K)
Describes EPA’s promotion of the use of compost in roadside landscaping. Reusable News, US EPA, Fall 2001, p. 6.

Compost: Better, Faster, Cheaper Cleanups Exit EPA
Describes compost technology/bioremediation as an inexpensive and effective method to remediate many contaminated surface waters, soils, air, streams and reservoirs. Jean Schwab, US EPA, in Waste Age, April 1, 2000.

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Related Links

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Ordering EPA Publications

Paper copies of EPA publications may be ordered from the National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP) by any of the following means:


By Mail
PO Box 42419
Cincinnati, OH 45242-0419

By Fax
Send your order via FAX, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
(301) 604-3408

By E-Mail (nscep@lmsolas.com)

By Phone
Call 1-800-490-9198 (Speak to an operator Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM, E.S.T.) Leave an order 24 hours a day.

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