LEVEL 2 - Save Your Green


This is the “Save Your Green” level, thinking more in the "rate of investment" (ROI) of being green where one invests in green practices to receive a return in savings. 

Good examples of ROI in green practices are that of solar-panels, wind-turbines, tank-less water heaters, high efficiency appliances, hybrid vehicles like that of the Telsa Model S and the Toyota Prius, to name a few.  


For the landscape improvement industry, other "save your green" examples would be that of low-watering/drought tolerant plants, drip and rain-sensor controlled irrigation, artificial turf in replacement of sod, mulch top dressing to reduce weeds and keep soil moist longer, to native plant material specified that would eventually become self-sustainable without irrigation.


All these are great green practicing idea that eventually will get a rate of investment back to the homeowner which will help our environment; however Gardenforms asks, “how can I get an immediate rate of investment on green practices without investing?”


This is where Gardenforms thinks about saving your green, by inexpensive (to near free) green practices where the ROI is immediately returned, where one conserves their environment, thus conserving their cash.


Aluminum cans, plastic bottles, glass can be recycled for the CRV value, or donated to a local metal management company that will take your recycles (even metal, electronics, old appliances, TVs, wiring) for free. 


One can easily compost food scraps, paper products, to cardboard to be recycled back into the ground as fertile compost.  Without investing much money (if any), one can re-use an old 5-gallon paint bucket (with a lid) to store household food scraps; and in the garden place into another larger container (to protect from local wildlife) and slowly compost in layers. 


Garbage Can Reduction
Household Food Scraps
Stacked Compost Unit
One can also compost with an old recycled plastic drum (see photo above), buy a compost bin from your local home improvement store, or what Gardenforms has done was to reuse old tree boxes for his compost bin.  

By reducing the size of your garbage can, one reduces their local carbon footprint, but also one can save about $10 per month on their thrash bill. 

Please consult your local sanitary service provider for more information.
  In this Gardenforms example, the homeowner reduced their weekly thrash output (from 35 gallons) to now 20 gallons due to composting.  That is a landfill thrash volume savings of 180 gallons/year, and a personal savings of near $120.  
Lumber/Railroad Ties

In the construction industry, old lumber that is from a deck to be demolished, lumber used to form walkways, to those old heavy railroad ties that were once used for retaining walls, all can be reused. 

For the deck, the redwood can be shredded and mulch down (see insert), and the bigger pieces can be used as fire wood.  Camping anyone?


The lumber (generally douglas fir) that was initially used for forming walkways or a driveway, can be scrapped (clean-up), cut to size, painted to protect from the weather and reused for a raised planters (see below photos). 

Those old railroad ties, can also be cut (suggested by a chain-saw with protective wear and goggles), can be painted to protect from the creosote leeching out to be reused as raised planters as well.
Unwanted Broken Bricks, Concrete and Excess Dirt

This is one of the larger wastes within the landscape demolition stages of a project.  By separating out, local transfer/dump stations will provide containers to pick up for recycling themselves; but to reduce the cost and ones carbon footprint, this material can be reused again on-site, where the contractor (or homeowner) will reduce their trips off site to unload the material elsewhere.

Gardenforms would suggest (and has practiced on a few jobs), is for those unwanted broken pieces of brick and/or concrete can be reused as fill to a raised patio area, or a base material to protect from gophers (with wire meshing) in a raised planter box. 

In addition to excess dirt on-site, with those broken bricks and concrete can be used to create interesting mounds for future landscaping as well.

Bread/Vegetable Ties, Old Mop Handles & Nursery Stakes

Like that of our grandparents, the bread/vegetable ties can be reused to tie up vines on a trellis, tie protective netting in a vegetable garden (see insert), to other uses around the household. 

For those old mop handles, Gardenforms has reused for staking for protective netting in his vegetable garden, to staking of a small tree, shrub or vine along the wall.

With all that there is to reuse back into the landscape and the environment as a whole, the homeowner will save their green immediately without much investment of time or money; where the end results are beneficial to both the homeowners pocketbook and one reducing their carbon footprint on the local environment, by no longer having to transport unused waste off site.

If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or want to provide photographs for future reference, feel free to email Robert Frisbie anytime.