The photo below shows an example of what I mean when I write about the move to the suburbs and urban sprawl.
But you still see this everywhere, a forested track gets cut, turned into a subdivision with 5- to 10-acre lots that are all completely turned into lawn with no trees or when there are trees growing on it they are introduced and have very little ecological value for native animals such as birds and other critters. Moreover, we fertilize and chemically treat the lawns so that they become net exporters of chemicals and pesticides, while in the past the forests that were growing there absorbed all the chemicals and exported oxygen, clean air and life.
We have a choice how we treat the land don't we? Even when we want to live in the suburbs. Landscaping can be done responsibly with humans and all the critters in mind. I am sure that the people in the home of the photograph above did not choose this landscape with the thought of intentionally messing (or f...ing) up nature, but they obviously did not know any better; do no have the resources; cannot be bothered; are taking the easy way out; or in the worst case have no pride (I am sure you can come up with a few more reasons).
Steve Allison writes that we choose the world we create in our landscaping decisions; it is not only an ethical decision, but of course also a financial and often a maintenance decision as well. But the question remains: why not do the best for the environment? I understand that from a builder's/developer's perspective that there is a profit motive; we all need to make a living; and yes I am generalizing here, but I would like to see more people who are proud of their work and more concerned about future generations. Money is not the end all; actually in the end we can not take it with us any way, but we can leave a legacy of a great ecologically sound landscape for future generations. I know I am generalizing here; however, I also know there are people who are proud of their work. I have met them and it was fun working for and with them.
In many of the books and reports that I read, I am told that we humans have reached the level where we are changing the world's environment. We are the only species on the earth that can do this, all others have to adapt to the environment. So instead of only changing it for the worst, why not try to change it for the better, or at least try not to have any impact at all? Yes, we need to build and live, but let's do it with nature instead of against nature.