Smarter Business: Greening Advisor

 

Fertilizers

Fertilizers usually contain phosphorous and nitrogen compounds, important nutrients that aid plant growth. Unfortunately, too much of these compounds is a bad thing, especially in aquatic environments. When aquatic environments are loaded with nitrogen and phosphorous, algae in the water grow at a rapid pace. When the algae decompose, oxygen concentrations drop significantly, killing fish and other aquatic organisms. This process is called eutrophication. By reducing the amount of fertilizer that your business uses, you can help reduce this negative impact.

Consider consulting with your company’s current landscapers and suppliers to determine if there are less-harmful alternatives to the products you are using.

Minimizing the use of fertilizers can also save your business money. Review the tips and resources below to learn more about reducing your company’s use of fertilizer.

Fertilizer Use Reduction Tips

  • Plant local vegetation species.
  • Use compost instead of commercial fertilizer.
  • Plant low-maintenance vegetation.
  • Do not use more fertilizer than is recommended on the label.
  • Consult with your suppliers and groundskeepers concerning grass mixtures and plants that will thrive in your area with minimal fertilizer.

Sample Letter to Current Suppliers

Dear _______,

Our company has initiated an effort to improve its environmental performance in all aspects of its operations. Because you do our landscaping, we would like to meet with you to discuss this objective in more detail. We would also like to discuss ways to cost-effectively switch to less-harmful products within the next few years.

Fertilizers can cause significant environmental damage when they find their way into aquatic ecosystems, decreasing the oxygen content of the water and causing fish kills and other problems.

We would like to reduce as much as possible the harmful effects associated with our operations, and we would like to speak with you to ensure that the products we are purchasing do not contribute to these problems.

We look forward to discussing this with you. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Additional Resources

Greening Advisor

The Business Plan

The Opportunities

Quick Tip

Planting with native species can help reduce your fertilizer use.

Suggestions?
Let us know.

Fertilizers can cause significant environmental damage when they find their way into aquatic ecosystems, decreasing the oxygen content of the water and causing fish kills and other problems.
 

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