By Amanda Murphy
As we enter the 25th year of business here at M.J. Design, our team recently met to discuss our goals as a company. It’s always an exciting gathering with lots of great, creative and inspiring ideas passed around. A common goal we all share as members of the “Green Industry” is striving to be as environmentally responsible and socially conscious as possible.
Our founders, Joel and Molly John, have been great leaders in this area. They have instilled a culture here that is informed and educated on the importance of recycling, reusing, repairing, maintaining equipment so it lasts, composting our plant and soil materials, using plants that are drought and heat tolerant, conserving water and electricity, using organic fertilizer and pesticides. Just to give one small example of these practices, each desk the M.J. office has three waste baskets that are labeled for separation of Compost, Recyclables and Trash. The shop area also has these bins as well. Most days, there isn’t much in the trash cans! We hope to be “Zero Waste” one day!
These environmental passions of the John’s and their integration of more earth-friendly practices here at M.J. (and at their home) has inspired me to step forward with my strong, mutual interest in this subject and create a Sustainability Manager role at M.J. This role will aid Joel and Molly to achieve our goals and implement all the “green” practices we can on a daily basis.
Each month, I will provide a new topic here in the newsletter regarding sustainability and how we intend to practice it at M.J. Design, at our clients’ homes, and around our own neighborhoods and homes. While we already do many of these things daily, there’s always room for improvement and to do more.
We’ve shared some of these sustainable practices in this newsletter over the years, as we want to demonstrate our love for the natural environment through our designs, plant selection and dedication to being good stewards of the land. So, it’s exciting to take one more step forward and look ahead to develop more ways to close the loop on our recycling efforts, water conservation, composting and land management.
Currently, while the pace here is a little slower in winter, we’re working on tackling one of the biggest issues in our landscape industry.…instituting a process to recycle 100% of the plastic plant containers and tags we receive from our growers to keep them out of the landfill. We’re in the process of working with the original plastic container manufacturers, to return the containers to them, so they can be recycled/pelletized and made into 100% recycled containers, thus creating a “Closed Loop Economy.”
Almost as exciting as receiving those beautiful plants from the growers in the first place, it’s processes like this that are needed to address the huge plastic waste issue around the world. We all need to do our part whenever possible!
Check back each month for updates on this issue and others to come.