It’s finally time to pick up your shovels and compost and begin transforming your yard. When it comes to sustainability efforts in construction, we strive to go above and beyond simply utilizing earth-friendly building materials; we focus on the life of the building, which includes high-performance operations. Therefore, we often help our clients go green with what surrounds their building as well: the landscaping.
If you are passing by Miron’s corporate office in Neenah, Wis., you will see that we’ve teamed up with Valley Organics, a local business that specializes in chemical-free lawn care, to install recycled rubber tire mulch in the planting beds surrounding the building. Made from 100% recycled scrap tires, the rubber mulch is a safe, durable and environmentally-friendly product that minimizes landscape waste and helps the soil retain moisture, thereby reducing the need for irrigation.
As part of Miron’s commitment to sustainability, our Landscape Management Plan is aimed at enhancing human and environmental health through the planting of native/adaptive vegetation, eliminating toxic chemical fertilizers and pesticides, reducing water and energy use, as well as minimizing air pollution, stormwater run-off and solid waste generation.
There are numerous sustainable practices you can implement in order to enhance your own lawn and gardens. We’ve found some great do-it-yourself practices at sustainable-gardening.com that will benefit your backyard year round.
1. Compost kitchen scraps and waste from your garden and use the compost as fertilizer.
2. Reduce water usage by watering the root zone of the plantings through drip irrigation, preferably in the morning or evening hours to minimize evaporation.
3. Use a 10 percent vinegar solution or corn gluten meal for killing weeds instead of other weed killers.
4. Collect water in rain barrels to irrigate plantings during the dry months to save on water used for irrigation. You can also use rain water to water your indoor plants.
5. Use organic substances, such as sulfur spray for a fungicide, to fight off bugs and plant infestations. Click here for a list of materials and their uses.
6. Use an organic lawn care service, which provides countless benefits, such as:
• Eliminates the “stay-off the lawn” time recommended after chemical treatments or keeping children and pets away from toxic fertilizers and pesticides, which are also harmful to useful insects, birds and wild animals.
• Reduce the risk of harmful soil and ground water, river, and lake contamination.
• Eat home-grown vegetables and fruits without worrying about the dangerous side effects of chemical pesticides.
What are some ideas that have worked for you in creating sustainable landscaping?
Image purchased from iStock