Our Views on Sustainability

 “meeting the needs of the present without compromising

the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

pillars-of-sustainabilityThis basic definition comes from the Brundtland Commission and has become a very widely accepted definition for sustainability. As depicted in the diagram below, this definition is based on three interrelated “pillars” that, when all are met, create a state of sustainability.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_development

Luurtsema Sales sees sustainability as a goal that will always be slightly out of reach.  That is to say, what is considered sustainable today may not be in just a few years as our collective knowledge grows and new technologies develop.  As a result we believe it is best to view sustainability as a path to be taken whereby we will always be questioning how we operate, which inputs are best to use, etc.

Currently we are taking the following steps in our quest of sustainability:

  1. In December of 2010 Luurtsema Sales installed several BlueSky solutions (energy management and surge suppression) producing the following results in the first 60-days: blue-sky-certifiedThe action reduces the emissions caused by our use of traditional power generation and serves as an example of steps every business can take to protect our environment.  Join us and learn more at www.blueskyrm.com
  2. we-recycle-logoIn 2008 Luurtsema Sales implemented a beta version of its horticultural plastics recycling program.  This program will be offered to all customers beginning the spring of 2009.
  3. animated-harvest-in-harmonyIn 2007 we introduced our line of USDA Certified Organic herbs and vegetables called “HARVEST IN HARMONY.”
  4. green-generationIn 2006 we began purchasing our electricity from renewable sources.  By 2008 100% of the electricity used by Luurtsema Sales was purchased from renewable energy sources.

Luurtsema Sales is continually searching for new inputs with the least impact on the environment possible.  However, given the prevalence of “greenwashing,” it is not as simple as accepting the claims of manufacturers.  Below is a list of questions we are asking as we evaluate new pots, soils, plants, etc.

Total energy input in the product

  • Transportation costs involved if produced overseas
  • Extraction and growing of raw materials (including glues and adhesives)
  • Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) discharges resulting from manufacturing

Is the input compostable?

  • Consumer ability to compost the product at home (does it require a special processes)
  • Involves the practices required for producing the raw materials used to produce the input
  • Comparison of recycling to composting

Food for manufacturing

  • Effect of food sources such as corn and wheat
  • Food source by-products can be used as compost in developing countries
  • Energy input for growing the food crop