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Going Green

08 Jan Posted by in Blog, Excavation | Comments Off on Going Green

going greenPeople are increasingly looking for ways to maintain a healthy home and environment. They want to eliminate exposure to mold, carbon monoxide, and radon. They also seek to protect their children, property, and pets from the harmful effects of toxic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. Property owners are pursuing the expertise of eco-friendly companies to clear land and properly dispose of debris.

ECO-FRIENDLY COMMERCIAL LAND CLEARING

Eco-friendly commercial land clearing involves removing trees and brush without the use of the three “B’s” – bulldozing, burning, and burying. These methods are destructive to the environment.

Bulldozing – This destroys topsoil and the roots of grass and plants. It creates deep holes that cost a fortune to fill. It also results in erosion problems.

Burning – This method runs the risk of triggering forest fires. Burning torches the land several inches down, killing the nutrients, oxygen, and microbes needed by plants to survive. The heat and smoke resulting from burning can singe and choke surrounding trees. The damage caused by burning can take more than three years to repair.

Burning also impacts human health.

  • Ash – Particle pollution is created by leaf burning, resulting in ash. This can lodge within the lungs and trigger heart attack, cardiac arrhythmia, and respiratory disease. Ash worsens symptoms of asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema. Ash may contain metals since plants can absorb them from soil and water. Cadmium can cause kidney and lung disease. Mercury can damage the kidneys and nervous system. It can also cause developmental delay in children. Chromium harms the respiratory system and can be carcinogenic.
  • VOC – Volatile organic compounds, abbreviated “VOC,” are also released by burning leaves. These can create difficulty breathing, especially in those with existing respiratory disease such as asthma.
  • Carbon Monoxide – When leaves are burned and not entirely incinerated, carbon monoxide is produced. It is absorbed by the bloodstream, reducing the body’s oxygen supply.

Burying – The disadvantages of burying debris are:

  • Significant space is needed.
  • Environmental monitoring is required.
  • Contamination may result.
  • Predators may be attracted.
  • Rodent control is required.

Hauling – Hauling away plant debris is costly. Eight truckloads of brush can be reduced to one load of residue through shredding or chipping.1/ Hauling involves increased expenses for labor, transportation, and disposal.

ECO-FRIENDLY LAND CLEARING EQUIPMENT

Forest Tree Mulchers – A forest tree mulcher is an effective green alternative to bulldozing, burning, and burying. This type of machine clears brush, stumps, and trees by grinding them into mulch. It exerts low ground pressure. A forest tree mulcher preserves top soil and grass roots, minimizing environmental damage. Surrounding trees and land are also protected. There is no damage to roots of neighboring trees. Mulch supplies nutrients to soil and promotes moisture retention. There is no disruption to wildlife. A forest tree mulcher is the most earth-friendly land clearing method currently available. It is also economical, eliminating the cost of re-building and cleaning up.

Horizontal Grinders – A horizontal grinder promotes efficiency on a large tree-clearing job. It enables on-site processing of trees and stumps. The resulting chips can be spread over soil for erosion control.

ECO-FRIENDLY COMMERCIAL LAWN MAINTENANCE

Eco-friendly commercial lawn maintenance involves using alternatives to toxic chemicals. Choose a company that will:

1. Leave grass clippings on the lawn and let them decompose, which produces a natural fertilizer.

2. Mow grass to a height of 3 inches. Taller grass has a greater leaf surface and deeper roots, which can result in less weed growth.

3. Perform a soil test to determine what your lawn requires in terms of nutrients, organic matter, and pH adjustments. Soil testing will reveal how much nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, lime, and sulfur are needed. Too much phosphorus and nitrogen are harmful to lakes, oceans, rivers, and drinking water. Other excessive nutrients can reduce drought tolerance, increase vulnerability to insects and disease, and even kill grass by burning roots and foliage.

4. Use organic fertilizers. Examples are alfalfa meal, poultry meal, and composted manure. These naturally contain small amounts of phosphorus. Organic fertilizers also:

  • improve the growth of roots
  • stimulate beneficial soil life
  • reduce drought stress
  • promote the safety of pets and children

5. Aerate the lawn. Compacted soil inhibits the growth of grass.

6. Use natural fungicide for treatment of mushrooms and other fungi.

7. Sow turfgrass species known for high quality, density, stress tolerance, fewer pest problems, less water needs, and lower nutrient requirements.

8. Use compost as a soil amendment. The fiber in compost promotes moisture retention and aeration. It also increases the growth of beneficial soil microbes.

9. Use electric mowers versus gas-powered machines.

Customer Support of Eco-Friendly Lawn Care

In addition, you can support eco-friendly commercial lawn care by conserving water. The following practices will help achieve this:

1. Water grass in the early morning to minimize evaporation. Water deeply to 1 inch. This encourages the growth of deep roots and increases drought tolerance. Use the following types of sprinklers:

  • oscillating – for a square or rectangular lawn
  • impulse – for a round or curved lawn

2. Be happy with a less-than-perfect lawn. Take the pressure off yourself. Your lawn doesn’t have to look like a golf course. A “good-enough” lawn results in less waste of natural resources.

ECO-FRIENDLY RESIDENTIAL CLEARING

Residential land clearing may be done to expand a yard or outdoor living space. It can also involve clearing land as a preparation for building. Residential land clearing includes removal of brush, trees, vines, and thorns. As with commercial operations, forestry mulching is the eco-friendly method of choice. Mulchers grind trees and stumps flush with the ground and deliver a nutrient-rich mulch to the soil.

ECO-FRIENDLY SNOW REMOVAL

You can support eco-friendly snow removal by choosing a company that uses snow and ice management with minimal environmental impact. Such companies fuel their vehicles with bio-diesel and recycled vegetable oil. They use ice melt products that don’t damage property.

ECO-FRIENDLY DEMOLITION

Demolition of a home may be a cheaper alternative to renovating an existing home. The cost of a major renovation can outweigh that of demolishing and re-building. A demolition can be partial or full. A partial demolition may involve knocking down part of a structure or leaving up a certain wall. In this way, the original charm of a home can be retained. Demolition work can also involve asbestos removal and clearing land of vegetation.

A demolition company must be responsible to:

  • protect nearby property and structures
  • ensure the area remains safe
  • arrange for disposal or salvage of demolition waste

A company performing eco-friendly demolition will use the following practices:

  • Maintain equipment to manufacturer specifications for optimal performance.
  • Turn off equipment versus idling to reduce emissions.
  • Use low-emission fuel and fuel additives.
  • Properly dispose of hazardous waste such as fluorescent bulbs, paint, aerosols, petroleum products, and electronic waste. These items are appropriately brought to Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs).
  • Recycle concrete, wood, and metal removed from property.

ECO-FRIENDLY DEMOLITION PRODUCTS

The following green products are used by eco-friendly demolition companies:

Rip Rap – This is a permanent erosion-resistant layer of stones. It protects soil from erosion in areas of run-off. It is used for slope and storm drains.

Surge Rock – This rock is 3 to 8 inches in size. It stops soil erosion and is used around drainage pipes and ditches.

Natural Wood Mulch – Derived from 100% natural wood, this is used to control weeds, maintain soil moisture, and reduce erosion.

Top Soil – This is specially screened to eliminate rocks and is used as a dressing on landscape areas that will be sodded or seeded.

GET ON THE GREEN BANDWAGON

By getting on the green bandwagon, people are protecting the lives of their loved ones as well as the environment. It’s a wise investment in the future for our children and our precious earth. Join the movement and reap the benefits of a healthier life!