Waterproof Paper: Eco-Friendy Options for Nurseries and Garden Shops
Nurseries, garden centers, and other purveyors of living flora are typically the leaders in going green — both literally and figuratively. While it may seem like the trendy new thing to be environmentally conscious, you can trust that most nurseries have been using these methods for years. It makes perfect sense, given that the growing, greenery of the globe provide such a huge range of benefits to support life as we know it.
There is a range of ways for nurseries and garden shops to keep your operations eco-friendly, from basics like composting to finding ways to cut down on consumption of products. Here are a few of the best ways to make your nursery or garden business more eco-friendly, to better support the plant life that supports us:
Support Your Local Pollinators
If you do nothing else to become more eco-friendly, take steps to support the pollinators native to your area. Yes, we want you to save the bees! On a broad scale, pollinators are responsible for the ongoing growth of many foods we eat — so much so that crop production is threatened as populations of pollinators keep dying off. Help revive the pollinators in your area by growing plants that flower early in the spring and late into fall. Also, stick to bee-friendly pesticides, if you use pesticides. Anything flowering — which means fruit and vegetable plants, not just decorative bushes and flowers — helps the bees thrive. In turn, they provide free labor to help your green things thrive with less energy and effort.
It can be hard to put aside the pesticides and herbicides, especially if your nursery is in a particularly verdant area. Pesticides and herbicides are a valuable way to keep critters and weeds from wrecking your products. Instead, supporting native pollinators is a good start, but skipping the pesticides and herbicides and focusing more on how/where you plant different species is a good way to encourage the beneficial insects while keeping pests and weeds at bay. With a bit more careful planning, this is a good win-win situation in terms of growing in an eco-friendly manner and saving money.
Install Rain Barrels
Operating a nursery inevitably means you’ll need a lot of water to keep your greenery growing well. No matter how verdant your region is, that means expending a lot of resources to keep your business running well. Installing rain barrels can be a great way to keep your plants growing while cutting down on energy consumption. Setting up rain barrels can help cut down on flooding during heavy storms, and they provide water that is better for your plants because there are no added chemicals. Want to go really eco-friendly? You can use reclaimed materials to DIY your own rain barrels.
Time Watering Carefully
In the drought-inclined parts of the nation, there is a big push toward finding ways to water that reduces consumption without having a major impact on living flora. While many of these ideas are geared toward residential gardeners, they are just as applicable for any nursery — even if you don’t live in a drought-inclined area. To start with, water at off-times like early in the morning and after the sun goes down. This cuts down the amount of water that will evaporate before it can be soaked up by plant life, meaning you’ll need to water less frequently, and for shorter durations.
While you’re at it, consider installing a sprinkler system and/or drip lines. While both are great ways to control when and how much watering is done, drip lines, in particular, can help you cut down on energy and water usage. If you’re really feeling industrious, you can run a drip line from your rain barrels to keep your gardens supplied with the moisture they need. Just be sure to create some durable markers so you don’t accidentally hit the hose when you go to dig up a plant or tree! We’ll touch on this more in a minute, but this is an ideal scenario for little waterproof paper signs to create custom markers without expending a lot of resources.
Make — And Use — Compost
As you trim, weed, and maintain all of your various plants and the land around them, it’s inevitable that you’ll have clippings that get tossed. Instead of sending things to the local dump in big plastic bags, put it all to use! Composting is a great way to cut down on your garbage disposal needs while creating a great way to further support your business. One word of caution, though: if you toss weeds into your compost, you may find that more weeds grow when you fertilize areas with that compost. Don’t let that deter you, though! All of that plant matter that goes into composting provides an array of valuable nutrients to your growing plants. Using compost is also a great way to help the soil retain more water, meaning you’ll need to water less frequently. Using compost can also help reduce erosion and “clean” the soil of some contaminants that can affect growth. Really, if you’re not composting, this is one great way to make a big impact toward being more eco-friendly — without major expense.
Cut Down on Disposable Resources
While most people will look at your plant and tree offerings as a gauge of how eco-friendly your business is, the fact of the matter is that you are still running a business. That means signage for everything from pricing and sales to safety warnings — to drip line markers, as we mentioned above. Want to cut down on expendable resources in an appreciable way? Switch to waterproof paper! Any nursery or garden center is going to be both wet and messy/muddy, which are big problems if you rely on traditional tree-pulp based paper products. Switching to a waterproof paper provides you with a material that will hold up against moisture and mud so you don’t have to replace signage every few weeks.
Instead, TerraSlate waterproof paper is colorfast, rip-proof, and heat-resistant, which provides a perfect combination of qualities to handle daily life at a nursery. Better still, you can print your own signage easily, since our waterproof paper and posters work with any laser printer or copy machine — which also helps cut down on shipping costs and other non-renewable resources generally associated with professional printing. Use TerraSlate waterproof paper to make everything from care instructions to price signage and see how much that reduces your paper consumption!
More Ways to Go Green
While these ideas are a good way to make your nursery more eco-friendly, there are piles of other options to incorporate into your everyday practices. Here at TerraSlate, we focus on producing durable, easy-to-use waterproof paper products to help businesses in any industry save money and cut back on materials waste. Whether it’s posters or adhesives, menus or flyers, all of our waterproof paper products are made to withstand harsh conditions and keep looking bright and clear. Our hope is that, with access to more durable paper alternatives like our waterproof paper, you’ll need to use fewer resources to achieve the same results. Want to learn more? Connect with the TerraSlate team and shop online today!