At first blush, all landscaping seems eco-friendly. Assuming you add new plants, landscaping automatically converts Co2 to oxygen, offsetting our use of fossil fuels. Right?
Well, it’s true that adding any new plants is a “plus” for the earth. However, residential and HOA landscaping can actually harm the environment if toxic chemicals are used. Furthermore, in rain-heavy cities like Portland and Beaverton, landscaping installation projects have the potential to help slow storm water run-off, thereby lessening the impact of urban pollutants on our watersheds.
Read on to discover local products and services that represent environmentally friendly landscaping and lawn care Portland-area residents can choose these products to help protect the environment around their homes.
OMRI Listed Products
Environmentally conscientious HOA landscaping companies and homeowners can look at Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) listings to determine if a Portland or Beaverton landscaping company is using earth-friendly landscaping solutions. OMRI is a national non-profit organization based in Eugene, Ore. Its main purpose is to evaluate products against the National Organic Standards. Farmers, ranchers and manufacturers can earn organic certification by using OMRI-listed products.
Why is it important that landscaping products meet the National Organic Standards? Because otherwise, your gardening efforts could actually release nasty chemicals into the environment. Non-organic pesticides meant to kill off one pest may also harm other species in the nearby ecosystem – including your family and pets.
Few local companies use solely OMRI products when providing landscaping and lawn care. Portland does have a couple of OMRI landscaping companies, though. For the safety of your family, your pets and the earth, be sure to inquire whether potential contractors use OMRI-listed products.
Storm Water Solutions
From Seattle to Beaverton, landscaping customers can help keep local rivers clean by installing bio-retention and storm water mitigation systems. You could plant a rain garden, for instance, or you might have your contractor add a rain barrel as part of your landscaping and lawn care. Portland residents might choose to add green roofs. All of these techniques slow the flow of rainwater, which means fewer nasty chemicals are swept off area roads into streams and rivers.
Green Landscaping Tools
Beyond responsible rainwater runoff systems and using OMRI-listed products, residential and HOA landscaping companies can help protect the earth by using alternative fuel mowers, blowers and edgers. Alternative fuel landscaping tools can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.
By choosing a landscaping contractor who uses green tools, installs rainwater mitigation systems and uses only OMRI-listed products, you can protect the environment around your home.