Ditching Commercial Lawn Chemicals: The Kids Deserve Better
Updated: Feb 21
Of the many hats we wear at Greenscape Geeks, one of the largest is being an educator to our community. We think there are more diplomatic and engaging ways to have conversations about environmental awareness and sustainability than by using all capital letters in a headline or berating consumer choices. We want to empower our customers with knowledge, not misinformation. With that in mind, today's topic of concern is about using commercial-grade, chemical-laden pesticides, fertilizers, and fungicides. These products have an ever-present danger that goes beyond ingestion or absorption through the skin. While you may enjoy a weed and pest free lawn, it is the tiny tikes and beloved pets that may be at higher risk long term as they play in the beautiful spring weather.
Infants and young children have enough problems to worry about; tying shoes, losing toys, and eating those darn vegetables are big enough tasks by themselves. When it comes to the problem of filtering out toxins, however, pre-adolescent livers and kidneys are too under-developed to eliminate pesticides, fertilizers, or fungicides from the body as effectively as adults. Nervous systems in children and infants are also highly sensitive to acute poisoning, and any symptoms of nervous system damage could go undetected for some time. Unfortunately, your pets are no better equipped to handle chemically treated landscapes than younger children. Health issues to Felix or Fido aside, pet hair can transport lawn-care product granules and dust that is easily inhaled. Guess who is the closest height to your pets on the ground? If you have concerns about health risks now, the National Pesticide Information Center is a great resource for finding out more about the prevention and management of pesticide poisoning.
We understand that everyone wants what is best for their loved ones. We also know there can be a large amount of information to sift through regarding pesticide runoff (which we talked about briefly in our rain garden blog), fertilizer containment, and proper handling of contaminated materials. Greenscape Geeks is here to assuage your fears and keep it simple: we don't use any commercial-grade chemical lawn treatments. Instead, we advocate for organic alternatives such as cornmeal gluten that works well for pre-emergent crabgrass control. Even that essential oil diffuser you can't seem to re-gift may finally get some use! Citrus oil and cayenne pepper keep ants at bay, and eucalyptus extract keeps away flies and wasps. These are tried and true, healthy methods that aren't lost, just forgotten. Greenscape Geeks wants to help you reclaim your yard and your peace of mind through better lawn maintenance.
How do we provide chemical-free options for yard health? The process all begins at the ground level with soil composition. Here's the real dirt on chemically treated soil: it becomes dependent on the chemicals used to treat it! Not unlike the young children that play on it, soils and grasses need a wholesome, balanced diet that processed foods (commercial chemicals) can't provide. By treating the root causes of poor soil, organic gardening and landscaping require less overall work and maintenance which means you save time and money. We'd love to talk more about how we can help you break free of the vicious cycle of synthetic treatments in lieu of safer choices for your family members who walk, crawl, or play fetch on healthy turf. Check out our full list of services here and reach out to us to schedule a phone call or in-person meeting.
Sources used for alternative pesticides and fertilizers:
Greenscape Geeks, LLC
Global Healing Center "10 Homemade Organic Pesticides" Updated April 10, 2017