Much has been said in recent years about organics. From organic produce to organic processed foods, more people are switching to a lifestyle that eliminates or limits the number of pesticides that enter their bodies. Proponents of the organic food movement say that plants grown without these harmful chemicals are better for everyone.
However, food isn’t the only area where you should be concerned about pesticides. Even something simple like using weed killers or pesticides on your lawn can harm your environment — and it could even make you sick. As such, more and more companies today are offering organic lawncare treatments to give homeowners an herbicide and pesticide-free solution to beautifying their yards.
If you’re not using organic lawncare services, you may be putting yourself, your family, and your local ecosystem at risk for pollution and a number of other problems. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re making the switch to organic lawncare:
1. How much do Americans rely on pesticides? A lot, apparently. Americans use 78 million pounds of pesticides each year, especially on lawns. Current estimates place spending on these chemicals at around $700 million per year. In addition to using them on lawns and gardens, they are also heavily used in agriculture. But because the pesticides are more dispersed over farmland, an average suburban lawn gets about 10 times as much of these chemicals per acre due to how concentrated they are.
2. Pesticides have seriously bad effects on humans. Over the past two decades, pesticides and traces of pesticides have been found in the groundwater of at least 43 different states. Groundwater is crucial for people in the U.S., providing drinking water for about half the country. When this water is consumed, it can potentially cause a number of health problems if those pesticides aren’t removed. Lawn pesticides have been linked to problems such as cancer or carcinogenicity, birth defects, reproductive effects, liver or kidney damage, neurotoxicity, and issues with the body’s endocrine system, which controls the body’s glands and hormone regulation. Worldwide, pesticide poisoning causes the deaths and chronic diseases of about one million people each ear.
3. Wildlife is especially at risk when pesticides are present in the ecosystem. It’s not only invasive insects that are killed by pesticides. Other animals are also at risk when they live in pesticide-heavy environments. In the mid-1990s, a geological study found that 90% of water and fish samples from all streams contained at least one pesticide, if not more. Today the problem has only gotten worse, with runoff found in most areas of the U.S. Pesticides can even affect the quality of soil, too, and kill between 60% and 90% of earthworms in a lawn. That has the opposite effect intended for gardeners, as these creatures help improve soil quality!
Think it’s time to switch to a pesticide free lawn service? Make sure to get in touch with an organic lawn care company near you. You can leave a comment with us if you have more questions about these services. More can be found here.