Health updates

The following is new information regarding toxic lawns and how to have the best-looking lawn around.

Facts about America’s chemically dependent and toxic lawns

• 67 million pounds of pesticides are applied to roughly 30 million acres of lawns in the U.S. annually.

• The number one, most water-intensive crop in the United States is lawn grass. The average lawn is doused with 10,000 gallons of water each year (in addition to rainfall).

• Synthetic fertilizers run off into streets and local waterways, choking aquatic life and polluting our water.

• The EPA estimates that a mower emits as much pollution in one hour as a car emits driving 20 miles.

• Numerous studies have linked common household herbicides and pesticides to asthma, cancer, reduced fertility and neurological harm to fetuses, infants and children.

The solution to the best looking organic lawn on the block

• Relax: Do not be afraid to let your average lawn height grow higher than the local putting green. Taller grass has deeper roots, which requires less watering.

• Seed: You get what you pay for. If you need to seed bare spots in your lawn, be aware that cheaper grass seeds tend to have more weed contamination than higher-end products.

• Weeds: Use a dandelion-digging fork instead of relying on dangerous pesticides.

• Mulch: Grass clippings can provide the majority of nutrients needed by a lawn.

• Fertilize: For yards that require fertilization, most garden centers now carry organic fertilizers that are better for your lawn and the environment.

• Mow: Use electric, rechargeable or push mowers. Mow when the lawn is dry and make sure the blade is sharp to reduce damage to the grass.

 

Resource: www.organicconsumers.org.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 26, Number 4, August/September 2007.

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