For landscape and lawn care companies, one could argue that every day is Earth Day.
However, holidays can help bring attention to a specific topic. Earth Day is an opportunity to celebrate why you do what you do on a daily basis and educate others in the community about the importance of caring for the environment.
Why It Matters
At Grow and Company, based in Houston, Texas, being leaders in sustainable landscape practices is part of their core values so they like to use Earth Day as a way to get their team excited about taking care of the Earth and carrying it through the rest of the year.
“We’re the green industry, Earth Day promotes the environment and I feel that the green industry should be the leaders and stewards of the environment,” says Bruce Allentuck, LIC, president of Allentuck Landscaping Co. based in Rockville, Maryland.“It’s just an opportunity to do so.”
Cole Weller, president and CEO of Weller Brothers Landscaping, based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, adds that it’s common sense to recognize what the industry is doing every day on Earth Day.
“For me personally, Earth Day is important because I want to leave this place better for my kids,” Weller says.
Shayne Newman, LIC, president of YardScapes Landscape Professionals, based in New Milford, Connecticut, says not only is it important to be able to help someone in need, but their Earth Day events have turned into a great team-building opportunity. They usually have breakfast in the morning before their event and then a cookout afterward.
“It’s a win-win,” Newman says. “You build a reputation in your community. You’re able to help someone in need and then there’s also the team-building aspect of it. I feel like it’s definitely been great for us. I would highly recommend any other company to do it.”
“We inspire and coach our customers and team to successfully connect with green spaces,” says Becky Staneruck, marketing coordinator for Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping & Garden Centers, based in Portland, Oregon. “This planet is our home, and we must continue to learn about it and connect with it to support it, keep it beautiful, and keep us thriving within it. We consistently promote the benefits of nature, whether it’s in the built environment or someone’s backyard. Therefore, Earth Day is perfectly aligned with our company goals and values.”
How to Celebrate
The great thing about Earth Day is there’s no one way to go about celebrating it. Weller Brothers does a tree giveaway on social media, while YardScapes opts to do spring cleanups or trash pickups at locations like parks and local nature preserves.
Allentuck Landscaping gives Gardens for Grade School Grants to their local elementary schools every year. The grants are for $1,000 and can be used towards any beautification project. Allentuck says this frees up money for school so they can spend their budgets on other necessary items. He says since one of their core values is ‘community minded’ this is how they decided to give back to the local schools for Earth Day.
Meanwhile, Grow & Co. uses Earth Day for an internal focus. Last year they introduced Grow Fields, which is a space on their property where their team members and families gather to plant vegetables and perennials.
“The idea was we would create these beds and then have an event on a Saturday where we had all of the middle management, all the managers, as well as the frontline crews and their families, are invited to come on a Saturday morning and we would plant all these seeds and have a big vegetable garden and pollinators like perennials,” says Kyle Cahill, founder of Grow and Company. “It would be a cool event to get the families and all of our folks together on a Saturday and plant this garden which we would then take care of all year long and then reap the benefits of the harvest together.”
He says they had a great turnout and several families wanted to check on their crops throughout the year.
“The whole goal is getting all these young kids involved and then their dad brings home some of the things that they planted maybe a month or two ago and it’s just fun, seeing it go full circle,” Susannah Cahill says.
Kyle Cahill says Grow Fields gives them a deeper connection to the type of work they do.
“A lot of the times we’re in, we’re out, we’re going to people’s jobs, we don’t even realize sometimes that we’re working in the landscape,” Kyle Cahill says. “That we’re outside and that we have a real impact on what’s going on outside.”
Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping and Garden Centers has promoted and participated in many local cleanups and planting events for Earth Day. Their retail garden center and plant shops have an Earth Day promotion or sale each year such as “Get a Plant, Give a Plant.” Staneruck says they work to educate customers on native plants, pollinators, the Backyard Certification Program, organic gardening, and more through their newsletter, blog articles, and classes.
“Earth Day brings everyone in the green industry together,” Staneruck says. “And the only way to make a change is to come together — we all have the power to do that. We all share a passion for plants and nature, and we must do our best to support the planet that provides these things to us. And your clients will appreciate you that much more for stepping up.”
Whatever you decide to do for Earth Day, try to do something that’s meaningful.
“Do something that first of all means a lot to you and second of all is something that your employees will latch on to and get excited about and you can continue throughout the year so it’s not just about one day,” Susannah Cahill says.