Taking Steps To Reduce Our Environmental Impact

Posted by Joseph Barnes on Jul 29, 2021 9:07:29 AM

As professional landscape providers, we believe it is our duty to be good stewards to the land. We care about doing our part and being good to the environment. That is one of the reasons why we have shared ways that our clients can implement green landscaping initiatives that make their properties more environmentally friendly.

These have included things like upgrading to a smart irrigation system, utilizing more native plant material, and even considering plant alternatives when appropriate (like decorative rock).

But we also practice what we preach. While we’re helping to make our clients’ commercial properties more eco-conscious, as a company, we are also focused on what we can do to reduce our environmental impact.

Over the years, we have continually made progress toward being more eco-conscious from a company-wide perspective.

Here are some ways that we’re making steps to reduce our environmental impact.

Going Paperless to Benefit the Environment, Our Team, and Our Clients

We know that the manufacturing of paper has a negative impact on the environment. It’s not just the trees that need to be cut down to produce paper. It’s also the entire manufacturing process of the paper, including the transportation involved, which has a negative environmental impact.

That’s why we’ve gotten away from paper almost entirely throughout our operations.

In the field, our crews all have smart phones where they clock-in and clock-out so we no longer use paper timesheets.

We’re also keeping track of property notes through landscape business software. Gone are the days of paper files. This has also allowed us to better service our clients as information can more easily be pulled up and referenced when it’s needed. We’re able to stay on top of exactly what’s going on at all of our accounts.
Accessing and reviewing clients information
Our accounting team has also gone digital through the use of our landscape business software. Accounting handles paychecks to our team members digitally. The team can also access information about their payment and benefits digitally.

And we’ve been encouraging our clients to also go paperless for their billing. We offer billing electronically which is not only good for the environment but something that clients have found to be convenient and easy. These days most people are used to paying bills online and they have come to prefer this ability.

Working Hard to be a Conscientious Landscape Provider

A big part of reducing environmental impact also has to do with being more conscientious as a commercial landscape provider. There’s a big difference between hiring a landscaping company who comes out and haphazardly applies a control product all over your property—and one who only targets the areas that really need them.

The truth is, the latter takes more time.

Being selective about applying products (such as spot-treating weeds instead of just applying a blanket of product on everything) takes much more care and attention to detail. That’s why there are plenty of companies that don’t do it that way. They just want to get the work done quickly so they can move on to the next job.

But at Yellowstone Landscape, we are much more scientific about our spray and granular applications. We are focused on training and education so that our technicians know how to apply just the right amount of what’s needed, where it’s needed. Broad applications are a waste of product as they end up getting applied where they’re not needed. Instead, we take a customized approach.

We’re also being conscientious about where we apply and we’re doing what we can to protect waterways. We are always aware of any special rules around local waterways and making sure that we’re following them to the letter. And we’re always ensuring that we’re using best practices.

What many people don’t realize is that thick and healthy turf can actually do wonders to prevent runoff, which is one of the most important things we can do to protect our waterways.commercial landscape

Converting Older Irrigation Systems to Smart Irrigation

Making the move to smart irrigation can also have a huge environmental impact and it’s work that we’ve been focused on.

Irrigation technician adjusting a smart controllerSmart irrigation systems tailor their watering schedules and run times to the actual weather conditions. Instead of just following a predetermined watering schedule, they’re making real-time adjustments based on the current conditions.

In the past few years, there have been tremendous leaps and bounds made in the world of smart irrigation and the capabilities have come a really long way. Some of the technology that can be beneficial in a smart irrigation system includes soil moisture sensors and rain and freeze sensors.

Additionally, many smart irrigation systems also use data from local weather stations in order to make adjustments based on the upcoming weather forecast.

All of this allows commercial properties to use water more efficiently. By eliminating water waste, there is a majorly positive impact on the environment.

Staying on the “Cutting Edge” of Robotics and Electric Equipment

Yellowstone Landscape has also been involved in the testing of new electric and robotic equipment options. Both bring lots of hope in terms of transforming the Green Industry into one that is more eco-friendly.

Currently, the technology for electric equipment is not up to par with commercial grade gas-powered equipment, so it’s not as desirable. It takes twice the amount of time to get the work done. But, we’ve been testing this out and staying on top of the advances. We’ve already seen the equipment get better and believe that in time, it will continue to improve.

Robotic Lawn MowerRobotics has also come incredibly far and as a company that does care about staying on the “cutting edge,” we’ve been testing a variety of different options. Commercial robotic lawn mowers will make it possible to have large turf areas mowed autonomously while crews will be able to focus their time and efforts on more skilled work. This will benefit both our clients and the environment.

Being a Part of the Conversation around our Industry’s Environmental Impact

Finally, we also want to mention that we are committed to doing more than just talking about these things within our blog. Our industry has a national trade organization, the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), and they’ve been very involved in the climate change conversation.

Our CEO, TIm Portland, sits on the NALP board and we are all doing our part to be involved in the conversations around how our industry can continue to reduce its environmental impact while also making positive changes.

That has even included talks with lawmakers on how legislation can best work with the Green Industry to have the most impact. We want to help ensure that policies are passed with all of the proper information at hand (not with misinformation leading the way).

We’re doing what we can to dispel myths and false information surrounding Green Industry best practices.

For instance, as we’ve mentioned, there are certain things that are commonly misunderstood, such as the fact that a thick and healthy turf can prevent runoff. When a product like fertilizer is properly applied, it helps to produce that thick and healthy turf (and the product stays where it’s supposed to).

We want laws that help support best practices so that other landscape professionals can step up their game and start benefiting the environment in a positive way, too. We know our industry as a whole will be better for it.

Choosing a Commercial Landscape Provider Who Cares About the Environment

Our commitment to the environment comes from a place of love and appreciation for the planet that we live on. As we mentioned at the start, we view ourselves as stewards of the land. Along with that, we are taking steps toward reducing our environmental impact with best practices in our landscaping work as well as how we operate as a company. We are continuing to stay current and evolve as the industry evolves and provides us with better ways to meet our clients’ needs while reducing our footprint in the process. And we are also doing what we can to remain active in the conversation around climate change and how our industry can play a part in making a difference.

All of this adds up to being a company that cares.

We certainly want to continue to improve for our clients but it’s also something that we care deeply about ourselves. After all, we are made up of individuals who got into this industry because they love being outside and have a great appreciation for the land. We take great pride in beautifying green spaces and we want those efforts to help positively impact the environment, not be detrimental in some way.

That’s why we’re continually looking at ways that we can be better.

Are you ready to feel confident in making a wise choice among commercial landscape providers by choosing one who truly cares about their environmental impact? Request a consultation today. We’ll meet to learn more about your property and its challenges, then create a comprehensive plan to take care of all of the details for you.

Image Source: Robotic Mower

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Joseph Barnes

About The Author

Joseph Barnes

Joseph Barnes has served as Marketing Manager of Yellowstone Landscape since 2013. He writes on a variety of topics related to the commercial landscaping industry.