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Action Alert

(or help get others to)

Fall lawn season brings Home Depot orders for Spring…!


Read what people have to say:

I hand delivered a letter to my local Home Depot in Kingston, NY. When I asked the clerk in their garden and lawn section if the store carried non-toxic pesticides, she said at first, "I think so," but then she called somebody in her store and reported back to me, "No, we don't carry any."
(Edwrd Schreib, Lake Katrine, NY)

I’m an employee of Home Depot and support the stocking of these alternatives! I delivered my letter. Thanks!
(name/city withheld)
I live in "chem lawn central" in the burbs of Miami! ugh...anything to help!
(Lori Moldovan, Miami FL)

Due to my chemical sensitivity and the extreme weather conditions, I chose to mail my letters to Home Depot in Falls Church and Alexandria. Many thanks for this wonderful campaign.
(Priscilla Stevens, Falls Church, VA)

I sent them an email via their contact us link on their website. I placed it under the company feedback subject.You may want to tell others that this is possible if there is no store locally for them to easily stop at.
(Kathleen Juffre, city forthcoming)

Copied, signed, and sent your sample letter...with a P.S. relating how I lost a perfectly healthy Golden last April to lawn fertilizer put down by a neighbor.
(Cheryl Geanacopoulos, city forthcoming)

I am so pleased to see that your organization is working on this issue. Our state's waters are being severely impacted by the run-off from fertilizers and pesticides used by homeowners, not to mention commercial lawn care companies. I am sending my letters to Crystal River, Ocala, Gainesville, and Springhill Florida.
(Marcie Clutter, FL)

Read more:

I like the goal. Have you seen IKE's survey of Home Depot on the advice they actually give on pesticides? Very dangerous. Check out www.ikecoalition.org. The state of Indiana has fined them for violating our pesticide retailer laws.
(Tom Neltner, Indianapolis, IN)

Actually, I did get an organic bug killer at Home Depot. It has thyme and clove oil in it. But, I agree, they could do more.
(Margaret Casagrande)

The clerk at Home Depot said, " I am so glad that someone is doing something about this. When they move the display rack over here to promote them (pesticides) I get sick from the fumes. When I walk past the area where they are it stinks. Thanks."
One letter was delivered to: Home Depot, Torrance CA and one to: Lowe's, Torrance CA
(Elaine Wilson, Torrance, CA)

We are Home Depot stockholders and hobbyist beekeepers. We are also regular customers at Home Depot and value the work of the National Coalition for Pesticide-Free Lawns.
(Archie Palmer, Bloomfield, New Jersey)

As a stockholder I am concerned about this matter. Further I mistakenly purchased and used the weed killer/grass feed - will not do this again. Thanks for heads up.
(Faye & Effie Cutsinger, Baytown, Texas)

You might want to point out that many of Home Depots' potential customers are shopping at Lowe’s for this very reason. I refuse to shop at Home Depot because of that. Our Lowe’s does carry organic lawn and garden products and are putting more on their shelves all the time. If anything, Home Depot is losing out on a very important demographic because of this.
(Bryan Carpenter, Dallas, Texas)

Thank you for the notice. I was in Home Depot last week and they are taking action at my store in Langley, B.C. They are telling all customers when they purchase such an item. Thank you again.
(Sharon LePard, B.C., Canada)

Thank You! Your email is very timely. I reluctantly purchased a bottle of Round Up at Home Depot the other day, because they had nothing nontoxic, but I can't get myself to use it. You have empowered me: I'll take it back armed with your literature and I'll send a letter to their corporate office.

As a shareholder of Home Depot, and a customer, I submitted your letter on their website under their "Investor Relations" contact site. I believe that corporations will pay more attention to shareholders.
(Matthew B. Alschuler, President, Cotton Expressions, Ltd.)

Thank you for this alert. Recently my nephew bought garden care that was toxic. I just told him yesterday that goes into the ground and into the plants and harms birds, butterfly's etc. Not to mention what his dogs lick and sniff in the garden and then we have to take them to the Vet and their lymph nodes are swollen..it can happen to cats too. I told him to boil three cloves of garlic in a pan, when this cools put this liquid in a spray bottle and spay all borders and lawn surrounding house. This way the nasty bugs will leave and the good bugs stay. Thank you for this Alert I will send it out to fifty emails and print for my office etc. I will send letter to Home Depot as well.
(Rita Wegiel)

I work at Home Depot. I used to work in the Inside Garden department, where they sell the chemicals, but I got such bad headaches that I had to transfer. Whenever possible I did try to get people to go with the natural remedies we sell or that you can make at home.
(name/city withheld)

I am able to deliver my letter to the Home Depot located in Pittsburgh, PA. Thank you for bringing this to my attention as I am on the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's Hypersensitivity List for pesticides and hazardous chemicals.
(Pamela Zollars, Pittsburgh, PA)

My yard is fertilized and pest control maintained by NaturaLawn, a national franchise that specializes in non-toxic products. My own gardner is a Cuban American and he constantly suggests he "weed and feed" my yard and I steadfastly refuse, preferring instead to pay a slightly higher amount for the safety of the environment.
(Lee Ann Morrison, Florida and California)

Questions and Answers

You sent a letter to Lowe’s and Home Depot, why did you decide just to target Home Depot for this action? Lowe’s is just as bad in my area, and while you’re at it what about Wal-mart?

Although Lowe’s is not out of the crosshairs, it was not selected for this take-in letter campaign for several reasons, some of which is explained here. Home Depot is the industry leader ahead of Lowe’s for home and garden products. Other box stores either follow suit or competitively exploit the weaknesses of the leader. Home Depot also prides itself on its environmental stewardship. Further, coalition surveys consistently show Home Depot carries the least amount of natural lawn and garden products. Although many people are more than willing to take in a letter to both box stores, not everyone is able. We decided it best not to divide the numbers of letters into two stores.

I work at Home Depot and I agree with what you are doing but I must tell you that bringing letters to the store manager really isn’t the answer. The letters need to go to corporate in Atlanta. If home office wants it in stores, it goes in stores.

The national headquarters of Home Depot is targeted, but in fact through the store managers. We felt it important that store managers also experience the demand for their store in particular to carry more natural lawn products and have confidence that the store manager will convey that demand to headquarters. So please, remind the store managers to share your letter with headquarters. While we continue to pursue a dialogue with headquarters, the store managers can begin the process by raising the issue with headquarters internally. That said, we certainly encourage people to also send a letter to Home Depot's headquarters. (See address below.)

I work in the garden depot and I know we have training videos at my store that help us learn more about the products and such at the store. Is there a video that offers knowledge on non-toxic alternatives?

There are some excellent videos available. A professional organic landscaping training video that has been used by a number of municipalities and communities is available for a mere $5 - $8 from Grassroots Healthy Lawn Program - produced by Grassroots Environmental Education, a member of the Coalition. See http://www.ghlp.org/. For additional resources and videos, contact Beyond Pesticides at [email protected].

Do you have the physical address to their corporate office? (I couldn't find it online, and I'm afraid an email would be ignored.)

Home Depot Headquarters
Attn: Brad Shaw, Sr. Vice President
Corporate Communications and External Affairs
Chairman, The Home Depot Environmental Council
2455 Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta, Georgia 30339-4024
(770) 433-8211 Tel
(770) 384-4211 Fax

I am an shareholder, can I email my letter to headquarters?

Yes, other investors have emailed the take-in letter via Home Depot's website under "contact investor relations."

I would like to send a letter but also add some muscle to my letter and include specifics about exactly what the alternatives are. Could you provide that information?

There are many lawn care alternatives to toxic pesticides that should be carried by the retailer. These are just a suggested few. As a coalition, we advocate sustainable lawn care practices that result in healthy soil that will in turn result in thick, healthy turf grass. Simply switching a toxic product for a non-toxic product without focusing on good cultural care will not have the best results. See the resources section for more information on good cultural lawn care. We also advocate the sale and production of natural-based products. All products, including non-toxic, should be used with care, as a last resort, and with attention paid to the label.

For a full range of lawn products that can help the public establish and maintain safe, green lawns and landscapes, each local Home Depot must carry at least the following:

  • A non-synthetic slow-release organic fertilizer that does not contain sewage sludge (biosolids). Natural organic fertilizers are made from composted manure, mineral, or plant products. Natural fertilizers today can also contain beneficial microorganisms. If it does not sound like an animal, vegetable, or mineral, it probably is not organic.
  • A pre-emergent weed control product made from corn gluten and devoid of synthetics.
  • A natural-based spot treatment for weeds that contains no toxic chemicals. These include products that contain a fatty-acid soap or have a vinegar or citric base.
  • A natural-based spot treatment for insects that contains no toxic chemicals. (The target insect will depend on the region.) These include products that contain fatty-acid soaps, diatomaceous earth, or botanical oils such as neem, clove, rosemary, mint, garlic, pepper and other plant based extracts.
  • A natural-based spot treatment for disease or fungus that contains no toxic chemicals. (The target disease may depend on the region.) These include products that contain minerals, fatty-acid soaps, and plant-derived botanicals.

As the campaign continues, comments received that raise important points
and require a response or explanation will be posted here.


Send your questions or comments to Eileen Gunn at Beyond Pesticides, by email [email protected], fax (202) 543-4791 or mail: 701 E Street, SE, Washington, DC 20003.