How to grow a forest in two years
You can get a tad demoralised when you look at all the challenges we’re facing in society today – often without a sense of there being any real answers.
That’s why I am such a fan of the environmental innovation championed by the Groundworks team. It’s called Ecoblanket and the results it achieves in terms of revegetation and rehabilitation are nothing short of staggering.
Why it excites me is that it is part of (or really the final ‘stage’ of) a lifecycle approach to reversing the rubbish environment we’ve created. (You’ll get the majesty of my language choice in a moment.) Essentially Groundworks connected an environmental issue with a solution that takes a series of disconnected steps to create magic.
In short, Ecoblanket is a groundcover solution that’s applied by a hose-on process. It can have seeds injected into the mix to create grasses, shrubs and trees based on what each client wants. And it can grow a forest in two years.
Let’s take a look…
Step 1: Find world’s best practice
Rather than get disheartened by the big picture of environmental degradation and, in some cases, corporate, government and individual negligence, they became part of real, measureable change. They looked at what was available globally and settled on the Ecoblanket developed by Rexius in the States for the outstanding results it was achieving.
Step 2: Adapt it to your context and then take it further
With a singular focus, they have invested in the research and development of Ecoblanket since introducing it to Australia in 2004, tailoring it to the unique landscapes and challenges of Australia.
Step 3: Work from the start of your value chain
They connected with soil experts to understand the chronic issue we’re facing with our soils (until I started working with the Groundworks team I had no idea that Australia had the worst soils in the world…bar none). They connected with native seed experts to understand how to make a rapid application (machine-based) system support seeds rather than destroy them. They connected with waste recycling experts to find a way to make recycled green and liquid waste (ie rubbish) the core ingredient in their compost base (organics).
They went back to the start to create excellence, add value and incorporate an environmental benefit at every stage of the value chain. The lifecycle approach is what gives Ecoblanket its high-grade sustainability.
Step 4: Commit to the best
Most other groundcover solutions take compost at a stage where it still includes weed seeds and other impurities. The Groundworks team and partners like NuGrow only take highly aged, refined compost. It means that a site treated with Ecoblanket is virtually maintenance free because of the high quality of the ingredients used and the process that chokes out weeds through fast growth rates of native seeds.
They only use 100% recycled organics so, while they are contributing to revegetation and rehabilitation, they are also reducing the waste going to landfill or damaging our waterways by creating a productive alternate use for it.
Step 5: Make it commercially as well as environmentally sound
Too often, environmentally friendly solutions or products cost more…and sometimes sadly don’t stack up in terms of results.
Ecoblanket might cost more than other options in the very short-term but quickly catches up and streaks ahead with the quality of the results it achieves – like plant density up to 500 per cent more than other methods or like a forest in two years that would take direct tree planting about five years to produce.
Like enviro-friendly clothes detergent or fair trade coffee, if it’s not up to scratch, socially minded products and services barely have the capacity to contribute to positive change. Without wanting to sound like a bumper sticker, you have to be better to be part of a better world.
Ecoblanket works better than any other available groundcover method. It gives clients long-term financial value and provides long-term environmental value to communities. It stitches together a series of industries (with amazing potential for community-based enterprises in the future) so there’s no missed opportunity to contribute to a more sustainable future.
If we all stood around and said that we can only expect a forest in five years, and no less, in every area of life, imagine what we’d miss out on.
Optimism can be the opposite of naïve when it’s grounded in a smart strategy and a willingness to ignore the ‘rules’ for just a moment. That’s how you grow a forest in two years.
Take a look at this snapshot, created by Graetzmedia for Ecoblanket:
Marketry supported Groundworks in developing a distinct brand for Ecoblanket, as well as a website, designed and developed by Silver Pistol, a video created by Graetzmedia, and brochure designed by Tala Stuetz. Marketry continues to support the business via award submissions, stakeholder collateral and general marketing communications support.