Success Story: Swedish Medical Center
Swedish Medical Center redesigned its landscapes, improved its practices and created a natural, nurturing landscape filled with fun and diverse plants. “It is imperative that medical centers focus on health outside of their facilities, as well as on the inside,” said landscape coordinator Liesl Zappler. “Being organic protects patients, visitors and staff, as well as the environment, and we have been able to do this at a significant cost savings.”
Organizations and government agencies are also working to reduce pesticide and herbicide use at their facilities -- where we play, learn, and eat. Look for the EnviroStars-certified sign.
Be a part of the Solution to Pollution: Choose EnviroStars certified Landscapers and Nurseries
EnviroStars is a widely respected, environmental certification program that businesses qualify for voluntarily. Consumers who use EnviroStars certified landscapers and nurseries can be confident that they are supporting environmentally responsible businesses whose practices have been reviewed and rated by a local government technical advisor.
Eighty-nine percent of residents surveyed in Washington state say they are concerned about hazardous and toxic wastes in the environment, but many of them may not think about how beautifying their yards and gardens can contribute to pesticides and herbicides polluting our waters or killing good bugs in addition to pests.
Why it matters
Our local lakes, streams, aquifers, and Puget Sound are in trouble. Rain carries chemicals (pesticides and fertilizers) from lawns and gardens into nearby water bodies. These chemicals may harm drinking water, birds and bees, and important businesses such as fishing and tourism. Sustainable landscaping methods create gardens that naturally thrive and don’t depend on chemicals.
How EnviroStars helps
Certified professional landscape businesses and nurseries place a high value on protecting our natural resources. They work hard to keep chemicals out of your yard and the environment. They use effective, sustainable landscaping techniques that keep your garden beautiful, the environment healthy, and your family and pets safe.
5 essential practices for a sustainable landscape
- Design using the right plants in the right place, with a focus on native, drought-tolerant and pest-resistant plants that are beautiful and easier to care for.
- Build healthy soil with compost and mulch, and use natural-organic or slow-release fertilizers. Healthy soil is the foundation. It contains rich life, which nourishes plants naturally.
- Plan for efficient irrigation, such as drip irrigation, soaker hoses and smart controllers with rain sensors. Proper watering leads to healthier plants with fewer disease problems. It saves water - and money too.
- Think twice before using pesticides. Most pests and diseases can be prevented or managed without using chemicals. Don’t use calendar-based spray schedules, and don’t use weed and feed or other combination products. It spreads chemicals where they aren’t needed and wastes your money.
- Mulch mow your lawn. Mow high and leave the clippings in the yard to fertilize naturally. Reduce the demands of lawn care by adding stone footpaths, or garden features in place of grass.
Reach for the Stars: EnviroStars
Look for the EnviroStars decal in the windows of local businesses, or search our online directory to find a certified landscape company or nursery in your neighborhood. If your current service does not have an EnviroStars certification, don’t be afraid to ask about the practices it uses. Increased public interest serves as an incentive for businesses to consider better alternatives.
For a complete list of EnviroStars businesses - for all kinds of services from car repair to dentists to dry cleaners to print shops, or to find out more about certification for your business.