Can Pest Prevention Be Sustainable?

When most people think pest control, “eco-friendly” isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. More often than not, pesticides fall into the class of anthropogenic pollution, human negligence of the fragile ecological systems that preserve our world and the environment. But what if a company took a more forward-thinking, problem-solving approach to lawn care and pest prevention, integrating not just quick fixes but sustainable, long-term solutions?

The Official IDEAS For Us Podcast – S1E2

In this episode, we talk with Adam Scheinberg, vice president of IT with Massey Services Inc., about how global technology companies—think Facebook, Google, Microsoft—can reduce their carbon footprint in data processing. We also discuss Massey’s role in helping commercial businesses and homeowners maintain proper water management and lawn irrigation. Plus: Scheinberg’s predictions on what sustainability in Florida will look like over the next decade. Below, a few highlights.

More sustainable technology is a win-win.

In this part of the podcast, Scheinberg talks about the insidious nature of bitcoins—“I don’t think anyone understood how much of an energy suck it would be to maintain a currency like that”—and the creative ways some tech companies are carbon offsetting their data centers.

The well’s run dry.

Contrary to popular belief, global water reserves are not inexhaustible. Well aware of this controversial fact, Scheinberg explains how Central Florida is getting close to expending its water supply. “When it became obvious that there was a projection that showed when we would run out of clean water, that was my first moment of awakening—when I realized that we could actually hit some of these scary future doomsday moments that always seemed to be at some far point in the future,” Scheinberg says. Thus, incorporating efficient irrigation systems—ones that don’t spew water, as over half of water consumption in Florida goes to irrigating lawns—is key in heading off depleted aquifers and droughts.

Scheinberg, left, with Clayton Ferrara, executive director of IDEAS For Us, discussing Massey’s role in the sustainability movement. Photo credit: Ernest Calderon

Let’s talk about termites: Massey’s philosophy on pest management.

Rather than offering standard pest control practices—some of which involve heavy pesticides and an exterminator vehicle parking outside a home, causing embarrassment for the homeowner—Harvey Massey, founder of Massey Services, proposed the concept of pest prevention, halting the problem before it starts. This way, homeowners could present an image of cleanliness, preparedness, as opposed to having an infested home. Scheinberg discusses how Massey Services handles pest prevention with little hassle to residents and minimal impact on the environment.

What does sustainability look like in 2030?

Proper management of water, management of product packaging and management of waste are all areas in which Scheinberg sees room for more education and awareness. As he put it, “I think there will be a push to figure out how we’re going to deal with recycling in a world where we’re not able to bag it and ship it.”

Check out The Mocking Bird Foundation, an organization Scheinberg’s involved with that raises funds toward music education for children.

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