PLANTZ is committed to sustainable environmental practices while managing the very elements of customers’ environments that help them keep “green”. Recognizing that we consume fuels and other natural resources with the delivery of our products and services, we employ the following practices to ensure that the healthful benefits of live indoor plants outweighs any negative impact on our environment.
PLANTZ has made a substantial commitment to retooling its shop to ensure that all new plants leave the shop with some method for sub-irrigation. Sub-irrigation is a technique for creating a reservoir for the plant to draw water from in between service visits. These techniques include – 1. Use of Controlled Watering Inserts where plants are placed inside a reservoir and water is placed in the reservoir. A sensor in the soil releases water as the plant needs it. 2. Use of PVC rings and capillary wicks with the standard growpot and vinyl liner set up. This is our PlantAssure™ method and it creates a reservoir in the liner and the plant draws water from the liner through the capillary material that is inserted in to the root zone through the holes in the bottom of the growpot. 3. Use of Aqua Disks in the liner. This method utilizes a disk placed below the plant growpot and on top of the liner. Water is retained in the disk and transferred to the plant by osmosis as the plant needs it. These practices allow PLANTZ to perform bi-weekly service to plants instead of a tighter interval. The benefits of the extended service interval means that we are –
- Using less fuel
- Using less water
Both of these are substantial benefits for our environment.
Plant fertilizers are required to sustain plant health and growth. PLANTZ only fertilizes when it is needed by the plant. This minimizes our consumption of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium in our operation.
PLANTZ practices Integrated Pest Management or IPM. This is a set of guidelines that involves continuous scouting for plant pests, use of alternative pest control methods, and that minimizes the use of synthetic pesticides. The following is a list of some of the methods we employ under IPM – 1. Use of beneficial insects – Many of the insects that adversely effect plants have natural enemies. In some cases, we are able to release these enemies, termed “beneficials”, into the plants’ environments and they go to work killing the “bad” insects. The beneficials are no harm to humans or plants. 2. Soap & Water – In many cases, a simple washing with soap and water can thwart an insect population. This has a very light environmental impact. 3. Pesticides – Sometimes, the use of pesticides in warranted. When we do use pesticides, the following rules are employed:
- Use pesticides with nothing stronger than a “Caution” signal word on the label
- Never “spray” pesticides in a customer’s indoor environment
- Use systemic pesticides (that are absorbed in to the plant) whenever possible
- Obey all label rules, instructions and warnings
In all, we use very little pesticides, keeping our impact on the environment to a very minimum.
We have traditionally utilized small vans and light trucks to transport personnel and products. Recently, however, we have purchased a Scion xB and Ford Transit Connect van with plans to replace our current vehicles with others of this type. These vehicles exceed the standards for Corporate Average Fuel Economy for light trucks. This will reduce our consumption of carbon fuels and we will continue to assess new vehicles for better efficiency and performance. Our entire fleet receives scheduled maintenance, further enhancing efficiency. We have also instituted policies which allow our team to drive company vehicles home. This reduces travel time to and from our shop because technicians are encouraged to go directly from their homes to their first appointments and directly home upon completing their last. This practice further reduces consumption of fuel.
PLANTZ attempts to recycle and avoid placing items in landfill-bound dumpsters through the following practices – 1. Plants that fall below our standards in customer accounts are:
- Donated to the Lowry Park Zoo
- Sold with proceeds benefiting the Tampa Bay Watch
- Given away to customers and neighbors
2. Paper products consumed in the office are recycled 3. We have reduced our overall consumption of paper products through continued use of electronic communication such as eFax and email
In 2009, PLANTZ achieved Green Earth/Green Plants® Certification through Johnson Fediw Associates – a non-partisan, independent consulting firm specializing in the interior plantscape industry and green certification – and remains certified. For more information on this certification, click here. PLANTZ continues to monitor its practices to ensure we are making positive contributions to our community and environment. After all, it is our service that contributes to the “green” in your office environment.