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Going Green?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Malm's Lawn&Pest Control, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. Malm's Lawn&Pest Control

    Malm's Lawn&Pest Control LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    It seems as if society is starting to become more "Environmentally Sensitive" and "Organic". With this being said, would it be better for a company just starting off to go with the "Organic and Environmentally Friendly" approach? Im talking about incorporating this theme in your company name, appearance.....everything.
  2. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    If you're going to go through the trouble of adopting a green "theme" from the get-go, why not also take the time to do the needed homework to become a legitimate "green" organization, devoted to organics? :)
  3. I was actually going to post this very thread. I have been thinking about my start-up and development. I am definitely interested in going green, However how green can one get in this industry? Are there organic fertilizers that are eco-friendly? what about emotion's on equipment? How about the way irrigation...poly or metal? how about property, is your shop green? solar panels, wind? I am studying the effects of the Going Green in this industry. I want to create a total twenty page report on ways a lawn care, landscaping business can jump on the bandwagon and its costs associated with it.

    I think that by going green from the start would be the best way to go. I think it is very possible that within the next decade the government will be controlling applicators and the green industry as a whole. Plus, allot of potential clients are all for the change and for those clients that don't give a rats azz, as long as it works I feel that they will give the job to you. Another incentive is green credits. For example, I know a insurance company owner who has built a new office and the incorporated green technology in the new property. They have 18 solar panels in which create energy not only for the building itself but even more than that. They sell the excess AC to the local power company and they write him a check at the end of the year. They also have water gathering reservoirs that catch water runoff and the irrigation system runs from this system.
    Down the road I believe that this is what will set businesses apart. I am all for your plan. You will pay more upfront however it will be well worth the investment in the long term. Good luck. When i finish my report I will post a copy.
  4. LKNBigFish

    LKNBigFish LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Messages: 222

    "green" would not generally include mowing as "they" prefer ground covers or rock gardens. natural and organic are much easier to hold true to. irrigation and lawns are not green and are a waste of resources.

  5. That is all totally true however "Going Green" doesnt mean that everything must be 100% ENVIROMENTALLY EFFICIENT, rather it is simply managing our resources. For example, rather then installing an irrigation system running off the city water supply, one can collect and save rain water and use that water to irrigate the property. It doesnt have to be a cut throat operation, It can be as simple as applying organic fertilizers rather than strong chemical applications. Its just a step in the right direction in managing our scarce and limited resources.

    "The stone age did not end because we ran out of stones" That was a quote from a Suadi Arabian Oil minister in 1970 just before the Oil cartel OPEC was established. Think about those words, we must adapt our ways in some way, big or small, we must learn to manage our so called enviromentall budget.
  6. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,449

    Hasn't rained enough to in our area for two years to collect anything. And going green does mean don't use city water and don't grow and cut any grass. And definitely don't use any motor devices to take care of whatever is on the lot.
  7. Malm's Lawn&Pest Control

    Malm's Lawn&Pest Control LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    I think you guys are missing my perception when I posted this. When I say 'going green' I am talking about using organic insecticides and herbicides that my customers are starting to demand because of pets and children. I'm not talking about building a shop with solar panels or not using motor devices to take care of lawn maintenance. You guys are getting off the point.

    Here is a good example: www.ecocareonline.com
  8. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    I think that would be a good idea, but I don't know how much you could incorporate the 'green' thing into that. If applicating is you only business then yes, the 'green' idea would work awesomely, but if you do other services, then no it won't work as nicely.

    And for all these other people who think that they should make their shops, equipment, vehicles, and services all 'green' and environmentally friendly...I say move your happy butts out to california and do it there. I for one will not be going green anytime soon, my clients don't care one way or another, I will only change when the government makes me.
  9. openbook

    openbook LawnSite Member
    Messages: 215

    There's some good info on here about organic and natural fertilizers in the organic section.

    I am also wanting to do the same thing in the residential sector. I would like to offer all non motorized service with the exception of a small truck.

    I would love to get my hands on an old vw rabbit diesel truck they get 40-50mpg. But I might have to settle on a ranger or tacoma.

    This last fall I put out flyers in an area that would be perfect for this type of service, they have one of the highest average incomes in minneapolis neighborhoods, but I only managed to get 3 accounts. That was for snow cleanup but I wasn't marketing green anything.

    I think when I do flyers again I will try and market some green ideas. For now though I just need to get customers any way I can.
  10. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Many smart organic applicators today will use a soil-feeding strategy like compost once or twice a year, or a revolving "step program" of vegetable proteins throughout the growing season with the use of corn meal, soybean meal, alfalfa meal, cottonseed meal, etc...

    As far as weeds are concerned, the best philosophy to put forth from the get-go is to offer yourself & your services as a "professional partner" with your clients, toward the ultimate goal of having the customers' lawns so healthy and T-H-I-C-K, that weeds won't literally have ROOM to begin to encroach!
    When weeds DO pop up here and there.....IPM (integrated pest management) methods should always be followed, whether you're using chemicals OR organic controls.

    Same general IPM concepts goes with insects & disease.

    Cultural practices (mowing, watering, sharpening, sun vs.shade, grass species compatibility, thatch, soil type, aeration, etc...) are the strongest direct contributors as to whether a given piece of turf will succumb to disease in a given season, or not.

    The main key with insects & disease is KNOWLEDGE of exactly what you're looking for, and when you find something, whether it's friend or foe, dormant or active (in the case of disease).

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