Hello and Happy New Year!
I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to you for being part of the Greenwise community. Together we have spread the word about the benefits of sustainable landscapes. We have conserved resources, reduced lawn care related emissions, and mitigated the harmful effects of chemical herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers. We have clearly illustrated that sustainable landscapes are more durable, healthy, and safe. I hope that you are as proud as I am of the positive impact we have made within our communities.
We have seen many records broken in 2012.
On a high note, the Greenwise community has received great interest and recognition, which clearly shows the growing demand for sustainable services. Our community has grown to more than 727 families and businesses in 2012, from 563 in 2011. We have restored more than 2 million square feet of turf to an organic state this year and prevented more than 150,000 pounds of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides from impacting our local environment. Along with maintaining the “Environmental Stewardship” award from the city of Evanston, we have received the “Best Landscaper” award from the cities of Evanston and Glenview, the Angie’s List “Super Service Award”, and we have remained on the “Honor Roll” of the Better Business Bureau. It is because of the support of each individual in our organization that we have experienced these achievements. We should all be very proud of our accomplishments.
On the other hand, we have also seen record breaking high temperatures, drought, and lack of snow in our region. The National Weather Service states that “2012 will officially go down as the hottest year ever in Chicago’s 142 years of observational records dating back to 1871” and furthermore, “more than 95 percent of Illinois was in a severe drought or worse” according to the National Drought Mitigation Center. Also, as reported this month in the Chicago Tribune, “in Chicago a record was set for the longest period without measurable snow”. Nationally, we have experienced 54 billion dollars in damages from Hurricane Sandy, water shortages and forest fires threatening the West, Pine Bark Beetles infesting Ponderosa Pine forests, and Colony Collapse Disorder devastating the honey bee population as examples of the environmental stressors impacting our nation. These negative indicators clearly illustrate the importance of considering how our choices can impact the world around us.
Reviewing the past year serves to illustrate the progress we have made together as well as the stark challenges that lie ahead. In 2013, we will be dedicated to continuing to improve our environmental practices. We are looking into sustainably sourced biodiesel and we will continue to develop solutions for sustainable landscapes. We commit to continuing to buy local organic fertilizers, composting yard wastes, and using local and recycled materials. We will plant trees, native plants, and veggie gardens. We will build permeable driveways, patios, rainwater harvesting systems, and drought-tolerant turf installations. Eventually, I can see Greenwise offering sustainable products for inside your home to conserve energy and water. I believe that Greenwise will become a leader in providing sustainable options for local communities as we create change together one step at a time.
Ensuring our future generations a healthy and safe world is our greatest challenge and I believe that it will take a great commitment from every one of us to meet this goal. We have all taken the first step to lighten our footprint by sustaining our own backyard and each step we continue to take will make a greater impact. I love the statement “Lighten your footprint,” because we all have one and we always will. Our goal can be to make that footprint as green as it possibly can be. The footprints we leave behind will create the path for future generations to follow. I commend your investment in sustainable choices and I look forward to working together with you to create a brighter future.
Co- owner and Founder
Greenwise Organic Lawn Care