Could Your Lawn Be Sustainable?

Going organic is important for more than just the produce or meat you purchase. One of the most efficient ways to benefit the planet and your family concerning pesticide use is right at your front door. Consider what you put in and on your yard and the effects it has on your family and community. Many such treatments recommend that you keep off your grass for a period of 24 to 48 hours, but the toxicity has been shown to remain much longer. Other treatments suggest wearing a mask or gloves for application. Such red flags should lead consumers to seek out a different product.

Each year, nearly 70 million pounds of pesticide are applied to residential yards. Per acre, that is a greater percentage of pesticide application than the average agricultural area. It is surprising that so many pounds of chemicals are used for the cosmetic purpose of a yard.

Pesticides are then tracked indoors, resulting in pollution in your home. Over 23 pesticides have been found in the air and dust in homes by the Environmental Protection Agency. Children that are exposed to pesticides used in or around their houses are at a higher risk for diseases like brain cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, and asthma. Pets are no better off, and are more than twice as likely to develop lymphoma. The chances of disease increase even when herbicides are only used twice per season.

One option is to reduce the amount of turf around your house to reduce chemicals needed and the amount of pollution resulting from mowing and maintenance. Using natural landscaping and xeriscapes can reduce the need for regular maintenance and watering. If you insist on having grass, cutting your grass regularly but leaving it at 3-4 inches will naturally reduce weed growth.

The chemicals you choose to use don’t stay where you put them either. Streams and rivers surrounding urban areas are laden with the yard and garden chemicals that people use, particularly weed killers.

Begin by seeking out environmentally friendly landscape companies for your mowing, maintenance, and landscape projects. As this becomes more popular, many are advertising as such in the phone book. Be sure you know what sorts of treatments are occurring on your lawn and that you know which chemicals are being used. Be wary of any product that lists inert matter as a primary ingredient. There are no regulations as to what can be listed as inert, and therefore it is often far from truly inert. That is where some of the most harmful components are hidden. It is best to rely on products that state they are organic and have a reputable claim about safety for people, pets, and the planet.

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