Earth Steward Program

Reducing Environmental Impact

Athens Services’ Earth Steward Program recognizes exceptional employees and clients who have taken unique steps to reduce their environmental impact.

Recognition: Sustainable Front Lawn & Edible Garden

Tina Nalbandyan ProjectEarth Steward:
Athens' Employee

Athens current Earth Steward removed her 1,600 sq. ft., front lawn and sprinkler system in exchange for a more eco-friendly and water-wise choice. Not to mention, her water usage and bill decreased by over half!  Over 30days she transformed her front lawn for the price of $1,200. (Versus $2,000 quoted to just put in new grass with no plants.)

What exactly did you do? “I replaced my front lawn with a sustainable landscape design, got rid of my sprinkler system, put in drought tolerant plants, and planted an edible garden. We first conducted preventative care by digging down 3ft deep and removing roots, rocks and weeds.  We then used a permeated tarp on the soil and decorated the area with lava rocks and recycled marble chips from demolition jobs. We made sure all the products used were nontoxic. We also planted an edible garden with bell peppers, jalapenos, serranos, tomatoes, mint, sage, rosemary, cobra peppers and more.

What were the incentives? “By preserving water, I saved a lot of money in the long run. I no longer need a gardener, which saves me $600/year and my water bill was cut in half. I am also saving water, which is plus for the environment. I only water the lawn every five to seven days.”

What does sustainability mean to you? “It means preserving the future for my kids and knowing our actions have an impact on the future of the planet. It means teaching my children ways to reduce their footprint - simple ideas like going without non-recyclable foam take-out containers or cutting up old clothes for rags.”

What’s next? “I have two goals. First, I want to decrease our electric bill especially with winter coming, so I am looking to get a free LADWP energy audit. Second, I am going to reinvent my 7,000 sq. ft. backyard into a grass-less, drought tolerant oasis decorated with material from local reuse organizations.”

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Watch for future stories about how Athens' employees and clients have taken unique steps to reduce their environmental impact.