Passionate About All Things ‘Green’

One might say that, by occupation, Brian Scroggins is passionate about going green.

The owner of Outdoor Escapes, located in Moore, has spent years working to create beautiful green spaces for homeowners in the Oklahoma City metro area—resulting not only in greater curb appeal but also extending the time the residents can spend comfortably outdoors.

Brian also is passionate about the other definition of “green”: meaning environmentally friendly.

For example, whether the customer selects concrete pools or fiberglass pools, Outdoors Escapes designs them with proper plumbing, which helps with recirculation of water and allows for a reduction in pump run time for energy savings. Brian notes that fiberglass pools are the better option to reduce the amount of pump run time because they have a gel coat finish that resists algae growth. They also offer customers the option to use either salt water or a copper ion system to aid in keeping the pool clean and algae free.

“Salt water uses natural salt that is added to your pool and then converted into chlorine by a generator. This option saves the customer money in chemical cost vs. standard chlorine pools,” Brian explains. “The copper ion is another great option for keeping pools clean by the use of copper charges that get released into the pool by the ion system. This system allows you to run the system on little or no chlorine at all. This is another cost-effective way to keep your pool clean with less chemical use.”

Outdoor Escapes also offers an eco-friendly variable-speed pool pump. “The variable speed allows us to, most times, use only one pump to run the entire pool, hot tub and water features of a pool,” Brian says. “By changing the speed of the pump, we can ramp up the RPM to give more output of water when needed, and we can reduce the RPM to run at a much lower, energy-saving speed when we just need minimal amounts of circulation in the pool for daily cleaning.”

Brian also thinks green with their outdoor living projects.

“We like to use natural stone products when we can, as this is a natural material that does not have to be made in a manufacturing facility. We use things like natural builders stone, flagstone, limestone and mossy landscape boulders.”

For their outdoor fireplaces, Outdoor Escapes offers either a natural gas log system or the eco-friendlier option: wood burning. For outdoor kitchens, they offer products like Hasty Bake ovens and Primo grills that use natural hard-lump charcoal rather than natural gas.

Outdoor Escapes also thinks green when it comes to their patio products. “We use pavers for most of our patio projects because they are a stronger product than normal 3500 PSI concrete used for most patios,” Brian says. “Pavers are a flexible patio system that allows for soil movement and does not crack, unlike large slabs of poured concrete. If there is movement of soil under the paver patio and the paver does move, we are able to remove the small section of paver patio, fix the gravel base and relay the same paver without having to replace the paver and not having to add to the landfill.  We replace tons of cracked concrete patio every year with paver patios, and that debris from the concrete patio has to either be dumped into landfills, though when possible, we send the debris to facilities that can recycle the concrete to be used again in concrete mixes or for road base materials.”

Outdoor Escapes staff have learned through research and years of practice how to place the right plants in the right location (e.g., shade vs. full sun), helping to ensure the landscape will thrive for years. Upon request, they can even select plants (often native to this area) that require a minimum of watering and feeding. Plants also help provide shade for patios, reducing the heat produced by concrete or other hard surfaces, Brian notes, adding that these plantings also provide habitats for wildlife (including birds) and beneficial insects.

When adding trees to a landscape, Brian notes that they often look to place them for shade on the west side of a house; this a great way to reduce energy use during the summer months.

Last but not least, Outdoor Escapes offers irrigation systems that are eco-friendly. “We offer drip irrigation in landscape beds, which reduces the amount of water required for plants, as well as drainage solutions,” he says. “Water is a valuable natural resource, but it can also be very destructive. French drains and area drains offer customers a great way to capture water from run-off and channel it to proper areas of your yard for disposal, so you don’t get erosion or standing water that can cause death to turf grass or a breeding ground for pesky and sometimes disease-carrying mosquitoes.”