Nevada Roots is a young, fast-growing company that’s earning a reputation for delivering on its promise to provide high-quality tree services while also protecting the environment.
Mark and Jenelle Stathes started their home-based business to generate supplemental income to support their young family. The business became much more – a reflection of the value the couple places on families, community, and the environment.
The Stathes are long-time supporters of Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful (KTMB), a local nonprofit dedicated to beautifying our region through community cleanups and education. The Stathes participate in KTMB’s Adopt-A-Spot program. They adopted Valley Wood Park and organize family-friendly events each year to pick up litter and pull weeds at the park.
It was through their relationship with KTMB that Nevada Roots was introduced to the Nevada Green Business Program.
As Jenelle learned more about the program she discovered that Nevada Roots was already implementing many of the recommended green business practices. Mark and Jenelle decided that achieving certification as a green business was a great way to demonstrate their commitment to the environment.
At home, they already had begun transitioning their landscaping from turf to a more natural shrub and urban forest design. The lawn area was reduced by more than 75 percent, from 2,000 to 400 square feet. The turf reduction cut the water bill in half. Mark offers landscaping suggestions to clients interested in doing the same, replacing turf to help reduce water usage from irrigation.
The tree service generates a lot of green waste throughout the year. Nevada Roots composts 90 percent of its waste by transporting the green waste to RT Donovan, a local composting facility located just outside of Sparks on Pyramid Highway. Mark also protects his health and the health of his customers by using nontoxic and natural fertilizers and herbicides.
As Jenelle began working through the checklist for home-based businesses, she was able to check off many of the required measures. Their home already was illuminated with energy-efficient LED fixtures. Nontoxic cleaning supplies were used to keep the family safe and healthy. Yard waste is composted into mulch, and the household participated in Reno’s single-stream recycling program. And Jenelle reused products whenever possible — using reusable bags when shopping, for instance.
When the Stathes realized that achieving Innovator status, the highest tier of certification, was within reach, they evaluated the cost for implementing more green measures. Deciding the benefits outweighed the costs, they identified the measures that worked best for the business and their family. That led to replacing showerhead and faucet fixtures to meet low-flow requirements, changing purchasing habits to include recycled-content paper products, and reducing waste by going paperless for customer communications and invoices.
The process was also a learning experience for the whole family. They learned about stormwater impacts on local waterways and the importance of keeping storm drains clear of debris and litter. The family now maintains a storm drain located at their address.
The family learned about electronic waste and how harmful it can be if not disposed of properly. They now collect all electronic waste and use KTMB’s online recycling guide to identify locations that accept e-waste. Increased awareness about the impact of single-use items like bottles and coffee cups led to changes in behavior.
This husband-and-wife team has more green practices planned for Nevada Roots. Site visits and routing are scheduled to minimize fuel use and maximize efficiency. A box chipper is on order to reduce the volume of waste. Mark estimates he will take 85 percent fewer trips to the composting facility, eliminating nearly 100 trips. That will save nearly 4,000 miles of driving and fuel use.
Mark and Jenelle are finding that the green business certification makes it much easier to communicate with customers. It strengthens their brand as an environmentally-conscious business and offers greater credibility.
The couple is quick to share how proud they are of this accomplishment and how much they learned on their journey toward certification. They believe that by making small changes, they can have an impact on their community and set an example for other businesses.
“We are fortunate to have been born and raised in Northern Nevada surrounded by the Sierra Mountains to the west and Great Basin Desert to the east,” says Jenelle. “We feel a responsibility to preserve the natural beauty for our children and our community. Green business certification is just one of the ways that we meet that challenge, and we hope that many local businesses will join us!”
Nevada Green Business Network (NVGBN) is a coalition of organizations that came together to offer a statewide green business certification program.