Supporting Greener Tomorrows
At Sargent’s we believe that it is our responsibility to help keep the environment healthy. We do that by being aware of how our own practices affect the environment and by educating our community on what they can do in their own landscaping to keep our planet beautiful. Our garden center staff is always here to help you with proper and safe chemical use, organic gardening options, and recommendations for gardens that will attract pollinators or improve water quality. Our design team is also willing and able to help you with beautiful sustainable landscape designs; from rain barrels to butterflies, Sargent’s is here to keep things beautiful!
Sustainability at Sargent's
By Nick Sargent
There are so many challenges with sustainability and the environment it is often difficult to choose what to prioritize as a company. At Sargent’s we have chosen two areas to focus our energy on. Those two issues are pollinator health and energy efficiency. To that end here are a few initiatives we have undertaken:
- Sargent’s was the first nursery in Southeast Minnesota to go “Neonicotinoid Free” and discontinue both our use and retail sale of these chemicals.
- Sargent’s hosts an annual Native Plant Festival covering a multitude of topics regarding pollinators including prairie restoration, beekeeping, landscaping with native plants, and many others.
- Our employees maintain eight bee houses as well as eight bluebird houses on Sargent’s property.
- Classes and seminars are held on native plants and pollinator health regularly
- We strive to disseminate best practice information through the garden centers with fact sheets and signage and also on our website here, on our blog, and in our information center.
- In 2016 Sargent’s installed a 10.26 KW solar array on the rooftop at Sargent’s north. This now produces enough power to cover approximately 8% of our electric usage, enough to power approximately 1.5 homes.
- This winter we purchased our second Toyota Prius for our sales staff to replace a pickup truck previously used for the same purpose.
- Over the last five years, we have made great strides in energy efficiency including major investments in LED lighting, heating and cooling, and ventilation.
- For spring 2017 we have instituted an employee contest with a grand prize if we can reduce our electric consumption by 10% over 2016 for a three-month span. If successful this contest would yield the same result as our solar array, therefore doubling the array’s impact.
- In spring of 2015, Sargent’s instituted a fertilizer protocol to reduce both the usage of fertilizer and the amount of fertilizer that is on the ground (out of the intended potted plant). This protocol has greatly reduced the fertilizer runoff into the Zumbro Watershed from our facility.
- The demonstration rain gardens at Sargent’s North is a place that the storm water management benefits of rain gardens can be seen by the public and studied.
- For our florist at Sargent’s on 2nd, we purchased a dumpster specifically for floral waste that we then compost. This has saved many tons of organic waste from going in the dumpster.