10 Quick-Start Goals for Going Green

  1. Agree on what sustainability means to you and your operation. Share your vision and get buy-in from employees. Embrace their ideas as well.
  2. Take steps to conserve energy usage in offices and shops. Turn off unused equipment and install programmable thermostats and energy-efficient lighting.
  3. Implement employee health awareness and safety programs.
  4. Start a recycling program in offices and shops by recycling paper, plastic and metals. Expanded programs can include wooden pallets, building materials and scrap metal.
  5. Minimize the use of disposable items or items that cannot be recycled. Doing so reduces waste production and costs—a key tenant of sustainability.
  6. Manage service vehicle routing more efficiently to conserve fuel and reduce costs. Consider installing GPS and train employees to reduce idling.
  7. Purchase fuel-efficient vehicles and maintenance equipment. Consider biofuels as an option.
  8. When purchasing products, consider their lifecycle. Cheaper equipment and products rarely offer the best value for the money and have to be repaired or replaced more often. Seek durability.
  9. Buy local whenever possible to cut down on the use of fuel needed to move products over long distances.
  10. Implement soil testing to determine exactly what nutrients landscape plants need.

As cited in the 2009 PLANET Crystal Ball Report