Daily News Archive
From April 18, 2006
Lawn Care Gets Mainstream Boost - Movement Continues to Grow
(Beyond Pesticides, April 18, 2006) The organic lawn care movement picks up more momentum as “Organic Lawn 101” is featured in the Wall Street Journal. “Turf Wars” describes the growing demand for organic products and landscapes nationally, and the chemical industry backlash. The full-length article was initiated by Gwendolyn Bounds, who writes a do-it-yourself weekend column, after she noticed how beautiful her neighbors lawn was. She found it was cared for without synthetic fertilizers or chemical pesticides, and decided to learn more.
The Wall Street
Journal Weekend Edition, April 15, reports “With spring hitting
full swing, a battle is shaping up over your backyard. Taking aim at
consumers who have embraced organic products from vegetables to cotton
sheets, some upstarts are pushing the idea that it's not enough for
your grass to be green -- it should also be "green."
The approach is at odds with most of the $35 billion lawn- and garden-care industry, which for years has been focusing on ever more effective synthetics. But the organic products are making inroads. Lowe's, Sears and Home Depot now stock several brands of organic fertilizers and weed control in their gardening aisles, and Lowe's, for one, says demand is growing.“ The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that they have been inundated with calls on the feature, mor than any other, from people who “just wanted to know how to do it,” and were so thankful for the simple to follow information.
The Wall Street Journal is among a number of mainstream media outlets whose interest and reporting on organic land care is growing. Beyond Pesticides was featured on NBC Channel 4, in DC in a special Going Green: Lawn Care Without Pesticides see video that was circulate as far as WFIE Channel 14 in Evansville, Indiana.
A daily google search of lawn care tips dispays just how widespread the principles are being publicized this spring. From East Bay Rhode Island to Albuquerque, New Mexico, local media outlets are emphasizing healthy soil, organic slow-release fertilizers, good watering practices, mowing height, and proper grass seed. The phillyBurbs Guides talks about hand-pulling weeds and the Kansas City Star sayss “cut it high and let it lie.” And the Augusta Free Press, Waynsboro VA writes “from the viewpoint of ecology, big, green, water-hogging and chemical-dripping lawns are the Hummers of the landscaping world” touting the benefits of converting your lawn to gardens. In this months Fine Gardening, there is a feature--Healthy Garden--that discusses lawncare, and gives a big push for a non-toxic approach.
Elected officials are also getting on board. Just yesterday, the New Jersey Environmental Federation, the state's largest environmental organization, announced that they joined forces with the Mayor of Irvington to eliminate toxic pesticide use in public parks and playgrounds. The activists and mayor noted the call for "Pesticide-Free Zones" (PFZ) is important because those are areas that children frequent the most. Irvington residents will also be urged to participate in this endeavor on their own property, and the Township will designate certain public properties, such as community parks, as "Pesticide Free Zones". These areas will be posted with a sign to indicate that chemical pesticides have not been applied at the site. Similarly, GreenDecade Coalition of Newton, Massachusetts joins with its Mayor to proclaim March as the town’s pesticide-free month as a way of raising awareness each year.
Meanwhile, the Safe Lawn Door-Hanger Campaign, the latest action by the National Coalition for Pesticide-Free Lawns has enlisted 26 states in the effort to educate homeowners on the safer lawn care methods. The interest and activism continues to grow daily as the public becomes more aware of the impacts of lawn pesticides and the ever increasing availability of alternatives.