Sustainability is a major topic of discussion these days, particularly at the recent Seeley Conference. It may not seem like it, but ultimately sustainability IS an economically-based subject whether you view it from a short-run or long-run perspective. The more the Green Industry can demonstrate its sustainable practices (and mitigate those that aren’t), the better off economically the industry will be.
Several folks in the media and otherwise have articulated the need for our industry to be proactive in demonstrating its “sustainableness.” Project Evergreen, America in Bloom, Arbor Day Foundation are examples of just that.
Research is desperately needed to document the carbon offset, or better yet, the “oxygen credit” that is provided by our industry’s products. One such piece of research recently released is a study that documents the fact that healthy turfgrass can capture as much as four times more carbon from the air than is produced by lawnmower engines.
See http://www.opei.org/carbonreport/ for the full report.
Other university studies are underway, but it will take some time because life cycle analysis is far from an exact science at this point. But in the historic words of Larry the Cable Guy, let’s “Git-R-Done!”