Summer is the time for green, plush lawns and impressive home gardens. Kids play outside in the grass and dirt and pets enjoy the outside sun. A pristine lawn is often achieved through the use of synthetic lawn chemicals, but is the use of these products worth the problems these chemicals cause the environment, your pets, and your family?
One of the most well-known problems lawn chemicals create is the environmental damage caused by synthetic pesticide and fertilizer runoff into our water systems. The fertilizers cause algae to grow faster while the pesticides cause it to die and decompose at increased rates, consuming too-large amounts of the water’s oxygen supply. The result: Fish and other aquatic life have a hard time surviving in the oxygen-deprived water.
As if this environmental damage alone isn’t enough to stop the use of synthetic lawn boosters, these chemicals can also harm pets and people. Synthetic lawn chemicals can easily get into a dog or cat’s system by direct contact when playing in the yard or by breathing them in, potentially increasing the risk for developing lymphoma and bladder cancer. Even scarier? Synthetic lawn chemicals are linked to increased risk of behavioral disorders, asthma, child leukemia, birth defects, liver and kidney damage, and lowered immunity—especially in kids, since they have more skin surface compared to their weight and take more breaths per minute than adults. Their developing organs are also less able to detoxify toxins that enter their bodies.
Organic lawn products do not contain the harmful chemicals that cause the increased rate of growth, death, and decomposition of algae so using them instead of synthetic chemicals could be one step of many to help our aquatic life. They also lack the harmful chemicals that cause the health problems in both people and pets. It is important to know that changing your lawn care techniques will not completely eliminate the risk of these harmful effects from your life as these synthetic chemicals can be carried into your home from other yards, so spread the word! As you’re watching your little ones enjoy the summer weather playing in your lawn or garden consider using organic lawn products like from Arbico Organics, my personal favorite, or hiring an organic lawn care provider, which you can find at safelawns.org. Whether it’s for the environment, your pets, your family or yourself remember to go green on your lawn this summer!