Just the other day I was driving through the neighborhood with our kids and a smell started to fill the car (and it wasn’t “compliments” of either of the kids because there were no “accompanying giggles!”).
We rounded the corner and I immediately spotted the TruGreen (ChemLawn) truck. It was sitting in front of a house and idling(!) while the “lawn tech” doused the yard in streams of harsh, nasty, polluting chemical fertilizers and weed killers. My first reaction was (sincerely) “my god, I used to let that happen in my yard”. And then I felt ashamed that I ever let it happen. Next, I wanted to tell my kids to briefly stop breathing. Then I envisioned screaming at the lawn guy to “turn off his truck!” … followed by knocking on the door and vigorously shaking the homeowner.
Why such the obsession for having the greenest, most pristine lawn on the block? Do they think the weeds will crawl in the window late some night? Or someone will pass “judgment” based on their lawn? The reality is that these chemicals are pollutants. The runoff works its way to ground water, pollutes surface water through the soil and causes major contamination. It also threatens wildlife and the beneficial insects.
I think about walking through the lawn and then walking into our homes, WITH our shoes, and I shudder. Every chemical you just walked through spreads itself all over your home and into the indoor air. And what about those precious LITTLE BARE FEET that touch the lawn? It’s like walking into a chemical field. I could never dream of subjecting our kids to such dangerous conditions. Research has shown that chemical lawn fertilizers and pesticides can present numerous symptoms, including respiratory problems, nervous system disorders, and aggravation of pre-existing conditions (such as asthma) and our children happen to be the most vulnerable.
Now consider this: Each year, in the US, over 103 million pounds of toxic chemicals are applied to lawns in our pursuit of “visual appeal”. That’s all it really is… an aesthetically pleasing look. This post could go on forever (and in the very near future, I will give more information about regular practices you can adopt to have a healthier lawn) but for now, if you feel you MUST pamper your lawn, at least consider greener solutions.
Check out NaturaLawn of America or (if you’re in Ohio) GoodNature, provider of lawn care for our beloved Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. This hasn’t even scratched the surface, but there are great do-it-yourself solutions that I promise to provide… soon!
But, for now, to top things off, the very next day there was a ‘hanger’ dangling from a door knob on the front of my house. TruGreen’s “Anthony” was offering me a monthly estimate of $53 to contaminate my yard… and family… and the environment. Thanks, but no thanks, Anthony. Move on.