How much does your landscaping company care about sustainability, and the footprint it makes on the earth?
Enough to use green practices not just for their clients, but at their own place of business?
Here at Level Green Landscaping, sustainability is a top priority. You can see it in all sorts of ways, from the cars we drive to the equipment we use to our recycling practices.
James Kole, Level Green branch manager, tells about the top green initiatives we use every day.
We Recycle Green Waste
Here at Level Green, we recycle all of our green waste. Shrub clippings, limbs pruned from trees, perennial cuttings are all hauled away, where a company turns the green material into compost. We buy the compost back, and use it to enrich planting beds.
Our Management Vehicles Are Hybrids
Each Level Green manager drives a Toyota Prius, which get anywhere from 50 to 70 miles per gallon, depending on the year of the car.
“People expect landscapers to drive up in an oversize pick-up gas monster,” Kole says. “We roll into sites in Priuses.
“Not only are they good for the environment, but they’re great for easy parking in DC,” he says. “There are a lot of tight spaces downtown.”
Our Trucks Use Diesel Fuel
This means they use less fuel in the long run. They also have small engines, which means better gas mileage and fewer emissions released into the air.
GPS Helps Us Waste Less Fuel
All production vehicles are GPS tracked. The tracking system features a text message alert system that notifies managers if a vehicle idles for longer than five minutes. Reducing idle time in production vehicles reduces fuel waste and emissions.
GPS also allows us to map the most efficient routes as we travel to jobs — another way to save fuel.
We’re Testing Battery-Operated Equipment
Level Green is testing various models of battery operated equipment for limited implementation in 2018. After a year of testing, if successful, Level Green will begin to transition crews to battery operated equipment, where conditions allow.
Even Our Lawn Mowers Are Green
Our lawn mowers are fuel injected to increase fuel efficiency. And they’re equipped with electronic ignitions, which means fewer polluting emissions enter the atmosphere.
Why We Mow Higher
All Level Green lawn mowers are set to a standard height of 3.5 to 4 inches. That’s slightly taller than the typical height, and the taller grass has several benefits. It provides more shade, which means weeds can’t thrive. That means a reduced need for herbicides.
“A big part of Maryland is the Chesapeake Bay,” Kole says. “When we reduce pesticide and fertilizer use, it’s better for the bay, and we can enjoy it and our customers can enjoy it.”
Taller grass also promotes a deeper root system, reducing watering needs during hot summer months.
Mulch Kits Feed The Earth
Our mowers have mulch kits attached to them, which means the grass clippings are returned back into the soil to act as mulch.
The mulching kit chops grass and leaves into fine pieces. These pieces fall down to the soil level where they will begin decomposing, acting as a natural fertilizer. This reduces the amount of fertilizer that needs to be applied in traditional lawn applications.
We Recycle Office Waste
“All of us recycle at home, because the county picks up recycling for us,” Kole says. “But they don’t pick up recycling at commercial buildings.”
Last year, Level Green managers decided recycling should be one of the company’s top green initiatives, so they collaborated with their waste hauler to add recycling of office waste.
All plastic, cans and paper are deposited in a large bin in the parking lot, Kole says, and the vendor sorts it.
In addition, Level Green saves the thousands of plastic plant pots crews use and returns them to the nurseries that sold them the plants.
“Most pots can be used three or four times,” Kole says. “They reuse them, and they give us a credit for returning them.”
Let There Be LED Light
All Level Green offices are equipped with LED light bulbs, from the shops and offices to the big flood lights outside.
LED bulbs use at least 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
And, those lights are on timers, so they automatically turn off if nobody is in the room, saving even more energy.
Solar Panels Soak Up The Sun
Level Green’s newest building, our future mechanic shop, is equipped with solar panels on the roof which should generate enough energy to not only power the building, but sell some back to the power grid.
The Beauty Of Brine
Level Green uses brine as part of its de-icing strategy — a precisely-measured liquid mixture of water and salt that’s sprayed on roads, parking lots and walkways to prevent snow and ice from sticking.
Brine uses one quarter of the amount of salt as traditional rock salt, which means it’s better for the environment.
Salt, whether in solid form or in brine, makes its way into area lakes and steams, creating a hostile environment for the crabs, fish and other creatures who live there.
The environmental impact of too much salt is a big concern. Here's an article that discusses the problems affecting our area: The Nation’s Rivers and Streams are Getting Dangerously Saltier
Make Sustainability A Priority With Level Green
“Each year we try to do more,” Kole says. “We want to do the right thing for the environment — and for future generations.”
When you look for a commercial landscape maintenance company for your Washington DC property, ask them about their top green initiatives.
Do they focus on sustainable landscaping solutions — and use green practices at their own offices?
We provide commercial property maintenance for properties throughout Washington DC, Maryland and parts of Virginia. Level Green Landscaping services commercial properties like office buildings, homeowner associations (HOAs), mixed use, condominiums, retail, institutions and government entities.
We’d love to hear from you. Contact us today at 202-544-0968 or by filling out our form online to see how we can transform your landscape into a beautiful, sustainable space. You can also schedule a free consultation with one of our team members.