While big-ticket equipment purchases get most of the attention, managers also are applying sustainability considerations to other areas of their operations, such purchasing hand-held equipment, and specifying and installing other types of products.
"I plan to on purchasing a battery-powered hedge trimmer after it becomes available this summer," Bolick says. "It might be a little more expensive, but I'm willing to pay for it if it's not too much more."
Landby says he continues to buy gasoline-powered hand-held equipment because the units have been more reliable than units with other power sources.
"Part of sustainability is limiting (equipment) downtime," he says. "If the unit is down, it's not sustainable."
And as water conservation continues its rise on the priority list for many managers, they are paying closer attention to opportunities irrigation systems can provide.
"We design our irrigation systems to be as efficient as possible and utilize a lot of drip irrigation," Bolick says. "We are installing a central irrigation-control system that will have a weather station on campus. This will allow the use of evapotranspiration as a measure of when we need to irrigate. This is expected to produce significant water savings."
Complicating all of these purchasing decisions — as well as every other financial issue — is the state of the nation's economy.
"I've been limited in our equipment purchases, so it's been a real challenge," Landby says. "The wish list really starts to focus on just the top priorities."
Mowers Fuel Grounds Departments' Sustainability Initiatives
Grounds Management: Utility Vehicles Replacing Pick-Up Trucks
Green Grounds Care: Managers Focus on Irrigation Systems, Hand-Held Equipment
PRODUCTS: Grounds Care