Last Saturday there was an article in the New York Times called The Toxic Brew in Our Yards. It was written by Diane Lewis, a physician, a mom and the founder of the Great Healthy Yard Project. It highlights the enormous amount of chemicals that homeowners use in their gardens and the effect it is having on our health. The Environmental Protection Agency is currently proposing regulations to protect farm workers from exposures to these dangerous pesticides that can cause a wide range of diseases. Even in small amounts these chemicals can lead to ADHD, autism, diabetes and cancer. Here’s the really scary part - homeowners use up to 10 times more chemicals per acre than farmers do - according to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
If some of these chemicals are in our yards they are also on our children, our pets and ourselves! The majority of these pollutants are washed away with rainwater into our streams, lakes and rivers or absorbed into our groundwater. These are the sources of our drinking water and test show these chemicals are in our drinking water. The toxic chemicals you put on your lawn literally come around again and find their way into that glass of water you just drank. Ms. Lewis would like you to take this pledge “I pledge to take care of my yard without synthetic pesticides, weed killers and fertilizers except on rare occasions to resolve an infestation or to improve habitat for native plants and wildlife. I also pledge not to throw pharmaceuticals or chemicals down my drains or toilets.” Their motto is: Our Yards. Our Children. Our Responsibility.
That makes sense to me!
- 80 million pounds of pesticides are spread on 30 million acres of lawn each year and that finds it’s way into our groundwater and run off water.
- Storm water run off is considered one of the main sources of water pollution in our nation. As the water runs off it becomes polluted with things like: motor oil, salt, fertilizer, heavy medals, pesticides, fertilizer and pet waste. Most of the time that water isn’t treated and runs right into our ponds, lakes and rivers.
Memorial weekend is coming up, the unofficial beginning of summer. Our closest friends are coming to visit with their two little ones that we adore. We can’t wait to fly kites, lie in the grass and look up at the clouds, do somersaults and play kick ball. Our lawn isn’t perfect, but it’s clean and safe to play in and gives us fireflies as a reward!
Bringing Life to Your Garden
Have fun out there!