The first article I wrote for TLC was about sheep. I mapped out a timeline covering the history of mowers – starting with those wooly grass eaters and ending with today’s commercial ZTRs. But I had no idea livestock might be the past and future of lawn maintenance when I wrote that piece three years ago.
Chicago’s O’Hare Airport enlisted the help of about 30 goats to maintain – or graze in their case – its 120 acres, including spots along creeks and hills that are too difficult and expensive to manually mow. Not only will these four-legged animals cut down on the grass, they will also reduce carbon-dioxide emissions and the use of toxic herbicides. And natural fertilizer is just another added bonus.
Although herds aren’t going to trample and replace mowers anytime soon, it is interesting to watch the continued movement of getting back to the natural basics.
A decade ago, you might have had trouble selling sustainable projects such as rain gardens, green roofs or xeriscaping. Now, instead of having to explain what those things are, many are discussing which eco-friendly option would work best for the sites and clients.
It’s no longer an issue of “if” things are changing in the industry, but “when” you will adapt and profit from these practices.
So, don’t just throw around the “go green” buzzwords – change the way you think and operate. Or, you may be out bid by a goat.