One of the biggest challenges facing our society in this day and age is striking a balance between economic and environmental practices. No company or client, regardless of the industry, is completely willing to sacrifice their economic well being in exchange for appearing to be environmentally friendly. The goal is not to have the two be mutually exclusive but rather, to strike a balance where they can work together. Our landscaping company believes this is one of the pillars in any successful business model. As both a landscaper and resident in the Vancouver community there are a number of choices which can be made to both help the environment and help clients feel good about the landscaping services they are having done, all the while offering cost effective solutions.
We work to encourage a sustainable business practice by committing to do more good to the environment than we do harm. It’s unavoidable for us, as a company, to use fossil fuels and we often trim back natural overgrowth to make both commercial and residential areas appear more attractive and inviting, yet with that negative impact on the environment we work to do just as much good.
Planting a wide range of local shrubs and flowers in a way that will bring back the local insect and bird population is something we’re conscious of. We don’t believe in forcing plants to thrive in conditions they were not intended for. We encourage all our clients to focus on plants which will work with the environment. We often suggest to our clients that they shrink the amount of lawn they have as well as planting trees and shrubs which will provide shade. Growing a lush green lawn takes a lot of resources, both in maintenance and in water. In Vancouver, in case you haven’t noticed, there is a lot of rain during most the year. Gathering rain water only makes sense to take full advantage of what is being given to us rather than wasting fresh water when the temperatures start to sore and water levels drop.
Furthermore, agriculture accounts for 70% of the planets accessible freshwater usage, which is both wasteful and unsustainable. One of the main ways agriculture is wasting water is with leaky irrigation systems. Having a highly efficient, properly maintained irrigation system can begin to improve some of the wasted water. That being said, the problem runs much deeper. Crops which are grown in areas they shouldn’t be grown in can result in what is called “thirsty crops”. One of the ways us as consumers can impact this trend is to avoid buying fruits and vegetables which are not natural to the environment. Buying local, sustainable, fruits and vegetables which are in season means your diet and food will change and you may be somewhat restricted; however, with some research and thought the British Columbia market can be extremely diverse thanks to the warmer climates in the Okanagan and rain-forest like conditions in other parts. To see a list of foods in season check out http://www.bcfarmersmarket.org/fresh-market/whatsinseason.
We feel very passionately about is the Bee die-off which is occurring right now on a global scale. Bees are crucial for so much on our planet, without them, not only would we miss out on honey but 1 out of 3 bites of food we take is made possible by a pollinator. If we lose bees we could potentially lose out on many of our favourite foods. The current flavor of the month seems to be small scale kit bee keeping. The art of beekeeping is one that requires a wide breadth of knowledge and should not be taken lightly, however this trend could improve the chances of bees making a comeback if for nothing else the sheer awareness that comes with this hobby https://www.honeyflow.com/ offers a wide variety of very informative and easy to use prebuilt hives.
Bee keeping likely isn’t going to be for everyone, especially those living in a city. Although disease and pesticides seem to be the major culprit in bees dying off the average person is able to contribute to the well being of the bee population in a positive, simple way http://www.beesmatter.ca/ offers free seed packs for plants which provide beneficial nutrition to bees, encouraging healthier populations in your areas and a natural way to promote your own mini ecosystem.
We often encourage our clients to compost if their situation allows for it. Not only does composting keep green waste out of the landfill, which increases the methane which gets dispersed into the environment, but it also acts as an amazing natural fertilizer for gardens. Composting doesn’t require a ton of space, however keeping it bear and rodent safe should be a priority. Never underestimate a wild animal’s desire to get into your compost bin.
Although no company or person can be perfect in their quest to bettering the environment we believe that taking a few extra steps and making small sacrifices can ensure the sustainability of our planet. Our commitment to ensuring our clients understand why we push our sustainable landscaping practices helps to plant the seed of small sacrifice for a much greater gain.