Sustainability at Prides: Striving to Keep the Green Industry Green!
Written by Lindsay Curran and Evan Brand
At Prides, our goal is to produce large numbers of great quality, healthy plants. While doing so, we believe it is our responsibility to be conscious of the resources we use and how they impact the earth. Prides strives to lower our impact on the environment and we have many sustainability initiatives to achieve this.
- Prides is a member of MPS (More Profitable Sustainability), a worldwide program that provides monitoring, certification and accountability for environmental impact. We report our usage of fertilizers, pesticides, energy, land and water to compare with other growers and find ways to reduce our impact.
- Our shipping facility has 753 solar panels on the roof. Since we installed it in 2016, it has produced 1,260,000 Kw! It covers 25% of our electricity needs. The carbon dioxide emissions that we save are equivalent to planting more than 13,000 trees annually!
- Prides recycles 40 million gallons of water per year by recapturing it. We also follow water conservation protocols and use wetting agents in our soils to reduce the amount of water that plants need.
- We use rice hulls on 75% of our containers to reduce weed pressure, this lowers our herbicide usage.
- Prides uses controlled-release fertilizers. This has a low environmental impact, and is safe for animals, birds, and fish. The fertilizer is released slowly over time; we only use what we need.
- We use biological, natural fungi in our soils to promote root health and plant performance.
- Herbs, edibles and veggies grown at Prides are completely free of pesticides. We use 20 billion beneficial insects in our bio control programs every year to protect plants from pests naturally.
- The majority of our new plastic pots contain 100% recycled plastic!
- Because we are a large nursery, we produce enough waste to recycle it in bulk. Every year we recycle: 300,000 pounds of greenhouse film, 100,000 pounds of waste plastic, 100,000 pounds of used plastic pots
While we are very proud of our sustainability programs, we will continue to build upon them. We have many exciting goals for the future, including: efficient and environmentally friendly trucks, a compost facility, more bio control programs, additional solar arrays, and a pot recycling program for customers.