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How to Become a Be Green Business

More and more, customers are asking their landscapers and lawn and tree maintenance businesses about organic options. Signing up to be a Be Green Organic Yards NY business is one way you can demonstrate your commitment to organic practices.

Be Green businesses sign a Service Mark Agreement with the Department. Entering such an Agreement means the business can use DEC's Be Green service mark (logo) under the conditions in the Agreement to advertise landscape services regarded as organic.

Before signing the Agreement, businesses must successfully complete a Basic Education Course from a Be Green course provider and agree to specific conditions, including prohibitions on specific pest management materials that cannot be used. This one day training is meant to introduce landscapers to the basic concepts of organic lawn care, and to make sure they understand the structure and prohibitions of the Be Green Service Mark Agreement. An individual business may consider that it needs more training before actually offering Be Green services, even after it has completed the minimum requirements.

The Be Green program is not a license or a certification to apply pesticides. While an organic approach focuses on a process oriented solution, rather than a product oriented solution, there are still many pesticides that can be used under the Be Green program. The commercial use of even those organic approved pesticides requires pesticide applicator certification issued by the DEC.

DEC encourages businesses to participate in the Be Green program. Below are some resources to help you understand the program and what it would mean for your business. If you are interested in becoming a Be Green business, see the helpful instructions on how to apply for a Be Green agreement. The Service Mark Agreement and forms are available on this website. To view the full text of the Business Agreement and related instructions and forms see:

Basic Education Course

To enter a service mark agreement, the business must first take a Be Green basic education course and pass the exam. The following list of Be Green Course Providers shows which providers offer Be Green courses.

Course Provider Name
Address Telephone Number
Expiration Date of Service Mark Agreement*
NOFA Organic Yard Care Program
126 Derby Avenue
Derby, CT 06418
(203) 308-2584 December 23, 2018
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County
249 Highland Avenue
Rochester, NY 14620
(585) 461-1000
December 23, 2018
Nassau Suffolk Landscape Gardeners Association (NSLGA)
PO Box 489
Brightwaters, NY 11718
(631) 665-2250
December 23, 2018

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