Natural Awakenings : Graining Ground

Posted By on Apr 4, 2011 |


Local Eco-Friendly, Organic Landscape Supplier Practices Sustainability

Heather Hamilton has been a recycler for as long as she can remember. “We recycled everything,” says the owner of EcoMulch, an organic mulch manufacturing and landscape supply company based in Martinez. For nearly two decades, she and her husband, Grant, have shared a vision of a sustainable business that would reuse wood chipping and green material to nourish the environment and beautify grounds. Five years ago, they made it a reality in the East Bay, and two years ago they opened a retail site. “It took us 15 years to take this to the full-circle effect,” says Hamilton, explaining how all of the components for this eco-friendly landscaping-supply company—from the wood chippers to the professional tree service to the shipping company—operate from Martinez, Hamilton’s home town.

“If we have to travel more than 50 or 60 miles to ship or import our products, then it’s not eco-friendly anymore,” she says. “How is that environmentally responsible? How is that sustainable? Keep it local.”

EcoMulch, a subsidiary of the other family business, Hamilton Tree Service, Inc., creates mulch that is free of construction debris and green waste. “There’s a big difference between green waste and green material,” explains Heather Hamilton. She says that “green” waste can have particles that are not good for the earth (contaminants such as herbicides, excess fertilizers, unruly pathogens and invasive weed seeds). The same can be true for construction debris; it typically contains contaminants such as petroleum, hazardous chemicals or metal products. EcoMulch products use green material, which is free of these potentially harmful elements and is examined and sold based on Hamilton’s fundamental “rule of green thumb”: “If I can’t put it in my garden, I won’t sell it.”
EcoMulch has turned local urban tree trimmings—an otherwise typical landfill waste product—into a sustainable business of recycling and reusing some of nature’s most nutrient-dense material. From mulch, wood chips and bark, to topsoil and compost, and even to recycled urban log planter beds, EcoMulch has laid the groundwork, and ground cover, for landscaping that is as sustainable as it is beautiful.

EcoMulch is located at 5010 Pacheco Blvd., in Martinez. For more information, call 925-228-1673 or visit MyEcoMulch.com.