The movement to go organic is taking over many aspects of Americans’ daily lives, from how we shop for groceries to what types of consumer products we choose. Yet one area where many people may fail to go green is with lawncare treatments. Each year, Americans spend about $700 million on lawncare treatments, and most of these are laden with pesticides. Pesticides don’t just kill insects; they also take care of weeds, diseases, and other lawn pests. But they come with a big price tag given the environmental damage they can cause, especially when compared with cleaner organic lawncare treatments.
So what are you risking when you don’t choose organic lawncare services for your yard? These three hazards can all be avoided when you choose pesticide free lawncare treatments:
1. High concentrations of pesticides: Research estimates place the number of chemicals in the average suburban lawn at a concentration 10 times what the average acre of farmland sees. In other words, homeowners are getting heavy amounts of pesticides all over their grass. Those chemicals can travel indoors, especially if children and pets don’t keep off the grass, and they can also enter windows through the air.
2. Groundwater contamination: Perhaps most startling is the fact that conventional lawncare can do serious damage to the ecosystem. Around half of all Americans receive their drinking water from groundwater supplies, yet in the past 20 years, pesticides or traces of these chemicals have been discovered in the groundwater in at least 43 states. This often leads to expensive remediation efforts that can take years to complete. It’s also possible for pesticides to enter other water supplies. In the mid-1990s, one study found that more than 90% of water and fish samples from all streams contained at least one pesticides — and usually several more.
3. Low quality soil: Finally, many conventional lawncare services promise to boost the health of a lawn, but they’re really doing damage to the soil. A healthy lawn needs healthy soil, and when pesticides kill off wildlife and soil nutrients, that isn’t possible. For instance, pesticides have been found to kill between 60 and 90% of earthworms in soil in or near areas where pesticides have been sprayed. Those earthworms are integral to soil quality, so these chemicals often have the opposite effect that they were intended to have.
Going for organic, rather than conventional, lawncare can eliminate these risks. Healthy soil and water mean fewer problems for our future. Have you relied on an organic lawncare service for your yard? Are you considering making the switch now? Tell us how you feel in the comments.