We’re all about transparency, so if you would like to dig in further to our sustainability initiatives please feel free to review ourSustainability Action Plan (SAP)
What is Sustainability?
When we think of sustainable landscaping, we think of a reduction; a back to basics approach, which reduces overall maintenance, long-term costs, and intensive chemical and physical inputs. Operating sustainably also helps us reduce our overall impact on the environment, our threatened natural resources, and our fellow human beings. Though sustainability is about reduction, we also believe that through sustainability there is much to be gained.
At Ringers, we have developed a sustainability ethic by providing education and incentives to our employees, “greening” our operations, and becoming involved with groups, people, and organizations which share a common value and interest in sustainability. As we continue to progress in our sustainable efforts, we have come to one simple conclusion/realization…
Sustainability makes sense.
Growing vegetables organically is a fun and rewarding use for your home landscape. All that is needed is 6-8 hours of sunlight, a water source, fencing (in most cases), and most important, good soil + compost! Space is not necessarily a restriction as there are many creative ways to maximize space by growing vertically and in containers. Eating and growing local food is a great way to become more sustainable!
The benefits of native plants are endless. Native species of birds, insects, and mammals are adapted to survive on native vegetation; by providing this food supply and habitat, we are helping to promote essential biodiversity in our region. Native plants are low maintenance once established; requiring less watering and chemical and physical inputs. We also have a beautiful palette of plants to choose from here in the Midwest! One of the most sustainable actions you can take in your landscape is to plant native trees, shrubs, and perennials.
Bioswales and Raingardens are great ways for homeowners to retain and treat stormwater on their property. These planted depressions aid in the slowing down and spreading out of stormwater, allowing it to efficiently infiltrate back into our groundwater system. Vegetation specifically chosen for both drought and flood conditions also helps filter out pollutants and create habitat for birds, insects, and other wildlife.
Rainwater is better for plants, readily available in our region, and best of all…it’s free! Harvesting rainwater is a great way to get reconnected with our water cycle, and can be done at all scales - from a simple 50 gallon rain barrel, to a mid-sized underground cistern, to an intensive underground containment/recirculation system that provides water for both irrigation and an above ground water feature. There are many options to be explored!
While there is porous asphalt, and concrete, permeable paving is usually in the form of brick pavers with larger joint spaces and a deeper gravel base. This allows water to infiltrate back into the soil, helping to restore our ground water and reduce the overall impact on our maxed out municipal stormwater infrastructure. Permeable paving is a very subtle yet effective way of creating a more sustainable landscape.
There are many organic options when it comes to amending soil to grow healthy plants; building a healthy soil is the best thing you can do for your sustainable landscape. A thriving soil full of life and essential nutrients promotes healthy plants, which are much less susceptible to disease and insect damage, requiring less input from you! Once a healthy vegetated layer is established, there is very little room for invasive weeds. Non-synthetic fertilizing options include: compost, compost tea, manure, fish & seaweed emulsions, worm castings, and granular organic fertilizers.