When you own a home, the landscaping of your yard can be a headache. Many people choose to hire someone to come in to set everything up for them. However, when you choose a conventional landscaper, you don’t really know what you’re getting into.
While the plants they choose for your home may be pretty, how much water do they need? Does the landscaping company use synthetic fertilizers, toxic pesticides or herbicides? What goes into your soil isn’t the only thing you need to worry about with conventional landscapers either.
Many companies don’t really think about the quantity of energy, fuel or natural resources it will take to install and maintain a beautiful landscape. The fuel required to mow a lawn, run weed-eaters, and leaf blowers in the fall is responsible for 6%-11% of pollution in the United States.
The gasoline that is spilled in the refueling of lawn equipment is not only wasteful but dangerous to the environment. It is estimated that 17 million gallons of gasoline is spilled per year, an amount that is comparable to large scale oil spills like the Valdez spill in 1989. Not only that, but weed-eaters, hedge trimmers and leaf blowers release up to 30% of their oil into the air when in use.
There is hope, however, for the future of landscaping companies. It starts in Charleston, South Carolina, with a company called “Earth Friendly Landscapes.”
This company goes to almost extreme lengths to protect the environment, while at the same time creating landscapes that require low energy and natural resources to maintain. The goal of Earth Friendly Landscapes is to reduce their carbon footprint to become carbon-neutral, by committing to sustainable lawn care practices that don’t compromise on aesthetics.
The equipment used by Earth Friendly Landscaping is all zero emissions, an astonishing feat in this day’s gas-n-go mentality. They are powered by a mobile charging system that runs on solar power and wind, independent of grid electricity. This means no pollution and a significantly less amount of noise compared to traditionally powered lawn care equipment.
Noise from lawn care equipment is not just a nuisance to you and your neighborhood. The intensity of the sounds of gasoline powered lawn equipment is dangerous to those who operate them, potentially causing significant and irreparable hearing loss. Earth Friendly Landscapes cares enough about the environment and the health of their employees to use machines that do not cause hearing loss or spew gasoline particles into the air (which some say may be a contributing factor to lung cancer).
While the lawn care equipment used by Earth Friendly Landscapes isn’t all electric, they have found an alternative fuel source for the equipment that isn’t. They use local waste vegetable oil biodiesel to power the majority of their machines. Local waste vegetable oil as fuel not only prevents the needless consumption of gasoline, but it also prevents vegetable oil from being discarded as useless.
You don’t have to worry about any synthetic fertilizers or pesticides if you use Earth Friendly Landscapes either. They are committed to using only organic fertilizers and pesticides, due to concerns about toxic runoff polluting the water supply when traditional fertilizers and pesticides are used. This way you can enjoy your beautiful trees, shrubs and lawn without worrying what the cost to the environment might be.
Earth Friendly Landscaping has all their bases covered. In order to avoid using chlorinated city water or taxing the local water tables, they design rainwater collection systems. Hooking a barrel up to your gutters is just one way EFL can make a tremendous difference in the amount of water used from public resources to keep your landscaping healthy.
The rainwater collection systems are far from an eyesore, and are set up to blend with the look of your house and yard. These environmentally friendly rainwater collection systems can be set up for irrigation (a more traditional watering method) or xerigation (also known as drip-line irrigation).
They aren’t limited to traditional lawn care and landscapes either. They also install greenhouses, hydroponics systems, solar powered lighting and natural stone pathways, always using recycled material whenever possible. They also use native plants that will thrive in the local environment without special care or treatment.
It’s clear that Earth Friendly Landscaping knows what they’re doing. While they currently operate mainly in the Charleston SC area, they are considering franchising their incredible business model and commitment to carbon-neutrality methods. They certainly aim to promote and educate landscapers everywhere about earth-friendly lawn care maintenance and installation practices.