We are certified Bay-Friendly Qualified Landscapers. Marin County has partnered with Alameda County Waste Management (stopwaste.org) and local water districts to educate professional landscapers in protocol for environmentally responsible landscape practices. In spring 2008, we participated in the first Bay-Friendly Landscape Program ever offered in Marin County, and after seven weeks of intensive courses, passed our test with flying colors.
The Bay-Friendly Landscape principles are:
1. Landscape locally
2. Landscape for less to the landfill
3. Nurture the soil
4. Conserve water
5. Conserve energy
6. Protect water and air quality
7. Protect and maintain wildelife habitat
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Green Business Certification
What distinguishes Equinox Landscape from most other landscape companies in the Marin Sonoma area is the incorporation of green practices in all facets of our work. In 2006, Equinox Landscape was certified as a member of the Green Business Program through the County of Marin. Of the many green things we do, we were acknowledged for using alternative fuel sources, such as biodiesel and vegetable oil to run our trucks, using propane fuel injectors to lower our truck emissions, and for driving hybrid vehicles. Our gardeners use only electric mowers and weed whackers to reduce pollution and save gas. We pride ourselves on our environmentally sensitive approach in the office and in the gardens.
Marin Companies Cerified as "Green" (Marin Independent Journal Newspaper, 8/16/06)
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For some people organic gardening is still a foreign concept. They wonder why they should be bothered learning a new gardening technique when there is a quick, synthetic solution just around the corner. At Equinox Landscape, we strive to educate our clients about the benefits of gardening naturally. Here’s what you can count on with organic gardening:
- Your garden will be stronger and healthier, and will continue to be fertile throughout the years. Natural fertilizers are more in tune with the true needs of plants and trees, which, in turn, promotes longevity.
- Your garden will be safer for your children, your pets and yourself. You won’t have to worry about poisoning when your toddler puts a handful of dirt in his mouth, or when your cat sleeps in a newly pest treated shrub.
- Organic gardens that are well designed attract birds and beneficial insects that control the population of harmful insects that can destroy your plants. An example: attracting ladybugs into a garden creates a natural predator of the aphids that can destroy or stunt the growth of so many plants.
- Gardening organically costs less in the long run. When plants are given the proper natural environment to grow, they thrive. Conversely, plants that are in an environment that uses synthetic fertilizers and pesticides become dependent upon those chemicals to fight against pests and diseases throughout the years. Their natural defenses are compromised, and the soil is quickly depleted of nutrients.
- If you are growing your own food, you won’t be eating any chemicals left from pesticides or fertilizers. Your food will taste better, contain more nutrients and give back nutrients to the soil for ongoing use.
- Organic gardening uses compost, which, in turn, encourages less waste on the planet. Composting is the process of turning garden clippings and food scraps (that would ordinarily go into the garbage) back into fertile soil for planting. Food scraps add their vitamins and minerals to the soil. Garden waste, such as lawn clippings, adds essential components for healthy soil, such as nitrogen. Our waste is recycled back into the earth to grow more healthy plants and trees.
At Equinox Landscape we feel there is no smarter way to garden than to take the organic approach. To that effort, we continually research and educate ourselves about natural gardening methods in order to handle any issues that may arise in your garden.
The Story of Sustainable Landscaping
Permaculture strives to examine all aspects of how we as human beings can live in harmony with the earth and its limited resources. Though there are many different ways that practitioners define Permaculture, one sweeping definition might be "creating sustainable human habitats by following nature’s patterns."
The Permaculture landscape designer works towards optimal methods for integrating water catchment, human shelter and energy systems with tree crops, edible and useful perennials, self-seeding annuals, aquaculture and animals—sustainable landscaping. Plants are arranged in patterns that can catch water, filter toxins, absorb nutrients and sunlight and block the wind. Combinations of trees, perennial vines, shrubs and ground covers that are known to nourish and protect one another are clustered together. Excess or waste products from plants and animals are used as nutrients for the soil. Composted food from the kitchen is reworked into the soil to recycle its valuable nutrients.
At Equinox Landscape, we use Permaculture design concepts to best integrate buildings, plants, animals, soils, water and microclimates. Our focus is not on these elements themselves, but rather on a harmonious relationship created among them by the way they are placed in a garden. Equinox's owner, Patrick Picard is a Certified Permaculture Designer. Return to top