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Environmentally Preferred Purchasing

Landscaping and Grounds Management

Your agency can green your landscaping and grounds management practices effectively and save money by using compost, native plants, integrated pest management strategies and biolubricants in outdoor equipment.

Compost

Compost supplies important nutrients to plants, protecting and enhancing your investment in landscape plantings. Compost use in landscapes and roadways reduces pest problems since compost supports beneficial soil microbes that recycle nutrients and protect plants from disease. Compost use can help lower government costs in several ways:
  • Reduce weed emergence when it's used as mulch.
  • Save money with the elimination or reduced use of the pesticides.
  • Reduce storage, maintenance and disposal costs associated with chemical use.
  • Eliminate hazardous waste compliance costs.
  • Build healthy soils that require less water, fertilizer and pesticides to support healthy plants.
Compost is not yet available in significant quantities from state contracts. Guidelines for purchasing high-quality compost are outlined in Ecology's Buying and Using Compost publication.

Read Ecology's Compost product fact sheet for more information.

Native Plants

Your agency can reduce landscape management costs by installing native plants which can:
  • Dramatically reduce water usage after the plants are established.
  • Significantly reduce or eliminate the need for purchasing and applying herbicides, pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers.
  • Provide attractive and easy care landscaping options.
Native plants are available on state contract 02510 and from wholesale nurseries.

Read Ecology's Native Plant product fact sheet for more information.

Integrated Pest Management

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs for buildings and landscapes lead to significantly reduced pesticide purchases. Pesticides are defined as insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides.

All state agencies that have pest control responsibilities are required to implement IPM practices in RCW 17.15, Integrated Pest Management.

According to the EPA, preliminary assessments indicate that long-term costs of IPM programs may be less than a conventional pest control program that relies solely on the use of pesticides, although labor costs may be higher.

IPM services are not available on state contract, however, many agencies use IPM strategies. One example is the Department of Ecology's Integrated Pest Management Plan for its Lacey headquarters building. Contact tina.simcich@ecy.wa.gov for a copy of the IPM Plan. Ecology was one of the first buildings in Washington State to earn the Salmon Safe certification, based partly on its use of IPM strategies.

Read Ecology's IPM for Buildings and IPM for Grounds product fact sheets for more information.

Biolubricants For Outdoor Equipment

Many agencies are switching from petroleum-based lubricants to bio-based lubricants for equipment such as two-stroke engines, chainsaws, cables, dust suppressants and marine lubricants. Biolubes are manufactured from a variety of vegetable oils, such as rapeseed, canola, sunflower, soybean, palm and coconut oils.

Biolubricants cost less over the product's life-cycle due to lower maintenance, storage and disposal requirements. Check state contract 02411 for recent additions in this category.

Read Ecology's Biolubricants product fact sheet for more information.

Landscaping and Grounds Management

For Buy Green technical assistance, contact:

Tina Simcich
Email: tina.simcich@ecy.wa.gov
(360) 407-7517