Since I had my first child nearly fifteen years ago, I have been worrying about my yard. Like any normal toddler, George wanted to be outside whenever possible, stumbling around on the grass, examining flowers and bugs, and helping me weed the garden. Today, he’s joined by his siblings and our dog, Mike, all of whom spend hours every day being kids (and a dog) outdoors. The lawn is their second home, whether it be behind our house, at school, or at the park. My question has always been and remains: Is it safe?
I started doing my research and decided it wasn’t, and isn’t. To my neighbors’ chagrin, I eliminated all chemical treatments on my own lawn, but I ran up against a wall when I tried to initiate changes at school and in our local community. In both cases, I was given handouts on the chemicals being used and phone numbers to contact the people supplying them.
The know-nothing yard companies with the big contracts tell you whatever they need to in order to get you off the phone. “Yes, yes, our products are all organic.” “We’ve been using these products for years, and they are safe.” “Yes, the chemicals have been tested and government-approved.” This last one really irks me. Government approved? Isn’t the government busy propping up agribusiness and subsidizing the corn and soy crops that are poisoning our food supply?