(Beyond Pesticides, May 1, 2015)Â A recent success in grassroots activismÂ comes through Tracy Madlener, a mother of two, who gotÂ her neighborhood in Laguna Hills, California to eliminate the use of Roundup, a widely-used weedkiller. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an intergovernmental agency forming part of the World Health Organization (WHO) recently classified Roundupâs active ingredient, glyphosate, as carcinogenic in people based on animal studies. The classification is technically âprobably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A),â Â sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity based on laboratory studies. Gravely concerned, Ms. Madlener began her mission to eliminate the use of toxicÂ Roundup in her neighborhood, with some help from Beyond Pesticides, sharing her progress on a new Facebook page âHow to Create a Toxic-Free CommunityâÂ along the way.
Just five days in she posted a video blog about getting started: organizing, sending emails, making a to-do list, and making phone calls for research purposes. She also built up a network and informedÂ others in the area, contacted other moms doing similar work to ban harmful chemicals in their areas for advice, spoke with landscapers toÂ suggest healthier options, researched environmentally- and health-conscious alternatives to Roundup for local use, and made folders with information to hand out to her local Home Ownersâ Association board members, meeting them and writing personal letters to help them understand her mission.
With summer just around the corner, grassroots activism is as important as ever in stemming the use of hazardous chemicals around the country. Beyond Pesticides has the tools necessary for activists like you to increase environmental awareness in your community through ourÂ Databases that Support Action. We promote getting active to safeguard your community and the surrounding environment from toxic insults: teach your neighbors how toÂ maintain their land without toxic pesticides, protect honeybees from neonicotinoids insecticides,Â aquatic species from endocrine disrupting chemicals, and theÂ streams, lakes, and rivers we all depend on from the widespread use of harmful synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.
Beyond Pesticides promotes these actions and many more through our Tools for Change page. This page is designed to help activists and other concerned citizens organize around a variety of pesticide issues on the local, state, and national level. Learn how to organize a campaign and talk to your neighbors about pesticides with our factsheets. With these efforts, your community can join those of: Boulder, Colorado, where the first âbee-safeâ neighborhood was established; Portland, Oregon and others, where bee-killing neonicotinoids were banned; and MarylandâsÂ Takoma Park, where all pesticides were outlawed from public and private use; as well as many more.
We hope you will use our resources, take action, and educate others on the ways toxic chemicals jeopardize the complex natural processes on which we rely. Through the promotion and adoption ofÂ alternative systems like organic, we can work with the Earthâs natural systems to produce a safer, healthier world for all living species.
To make your community sustainable and take it off the pesticide treadmill, join Beyond Pesticidesâ community-based campaigns through our website, or contact us directly at email@example.com.
All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides