As landscapers, the great outdoors is our sacred realm and we hold a responsibility to help take care of it. Gardening and land management may be a remedial hobby for some, but it can also be a practical avenue for contributing back to the environment. Producing more green materials will help purify the air, reduce pollution and generate pollination, resulting in a happier, cleaner planet. There are so many types of beneficial plants and trees that encourage the health of our earth, but here are just a few favorites that do well in our Central Coast climate. Consider including more of these “green” options when planning your next outdoor space.


Fragrant and beautiful, lavender is a lush addition to any home or garden. It attracts beneficial insects, butterflies and bees, making it a valuable choice for pollination. Place this purple-flowered plant close to gardens where bees and other pollinators won’t be able to resist its charm. The herb is also well known for its medicinal benefits including soothing, calming and healing properties. Resilient to warmer climates, lavender thrives here in California and is easy to maintain, requiring mostly just sun and proper drainage.

Eucalyptus Tree

The bigger the “plant”, the more carbon dioxide it can take in and thus the more oxygen it can release back into the air. Trees make a big and tall impact on helping our environment, so its crucial we continue to care for and grow these giant friends. Near the top of the carbon dioxide absorber’s list are eucalyptus trees which store approximately 70 pounds of CO2 per year! Implanted to the Santa Cruz area in the late 1800’s, eucalyptus have become one of the most common trees along our coastline.

Coast Redwood

This infamous western tree is a great addition to any California dwelling. Redwoods, known as the tallest trees on earth, can soar up to 350 feet in the wild and average a 600 year life-span. Surpassing the eucalyptus, studies have shown that redwoods seize more carbon dioxide from power plants, cars and trucks than any other type of tree on earth. The more CO2 they devour, the more they help combat climate change and improve our breathing air.

Trees can also contribute to air quality by providing shady surfaces and cooler temperatures. If a home or building has shade assistance from surrounding trees, it can reduce the need for conventional air conditioning and the gas emissions that come with it.

Even though Earth Day may have just passed, don’t let that stop you from making an impact throughout the whole year. Contribute to our ecosystem by making conscious landscaping choices that will benefit our earth for years to come!