QUARANTINE CHALLENGE #8: No More Pesticides!!!

Pesticides are not new. They include a wide range of compounds like fungicides, insecticides, herbicides, etc. They grew in popularity in the 1960s and have been commonly used in households since despite numerous reports of their negative impact on the environment and our health. Though they can control harmful pests and yield better crops, the disadvantages of pesticides far outweigh any benefit. The World Health Organization estimates that there are nearly 1,000,000 poisoning reports per year because of pesticides. Those most at risk include farmers, loaders, and agricultural workers. However, they also pose a serious risk to our pets, to the wildlife, and to our drinking water. despite the link the reports showcasing the harmful effects pesticides have on the environment, on peoples endocrine systems, and our overall health, people continue to use them as a quick fix on their lawns and gardens. For a full list of the harmful side effects of these chemicals you can read this report: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2984095/

The United States is one of the largest agricultural producers, and therefore, one of the largest users of harmful pesticides, many of which have already been banned in other countries according to this study. Some common brands of herbicides and insecticides sold in the U.S. include Roundup, Spectracide, Ortho, Bayer Advanced, Sevin, and others. The harmful chemicals and products like these are not only a threat to our health and the health of our pets, but they’ve also been destroying the bee population. recently the EPA banned 12 of these pesticides known for decimating the bee population, but there’s still a long way to go. (Business Insider). environmental groups continue to fight for a total ban on these harmful chemicals, but it will be a long time before the US catches up with other countries that prioritize the well-being of the environment. In the meantime, we can look into organic pest control options and encourage those we know to make the switch.

There are a number of environmentally friendly methods for controlling weeds, harmful insects, and other pests including insecticidal soaps, and other clever strategies. If you’re not sure how to control a specific weed or pest, there are plenty of resources to help you. A lot of research has been done about organic pest control and there are plenty of options available:

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/gardening/a20705693/organic-pest-control/

https://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/pest-control/organic-pest-control-zm0z11zsto

https://www.treehugger.com/lawn-garden/8-natural-homemade-insecticides-save-your-garden-without-killing-earth.html

If you have pesticides, herbicides, or other harmful chemicals to dispose of, do not pour them down the sink. Read the labels for instructions on safe disposal or contact your local trash and recycling center for the protocol on hazardous materials. Are you ready to stop dumping poison on your lawn and into your garden? Let’s make 2020 the year that pesticides start becoming a thing of the past.

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