The chemical landscaping industry's over-use and abuse of poisonous, non-essential chemical products has become "normal" lawn and garden care.
As individuals (and as a Province), we need to "get it" that . . .
- An occasional weed is a sign of a healthy landscape.
- Our lawns are NOT golf courses.
- We need to grow chemical-free lawns and plants that can live in our different geographical regions.
- We need to get our lawns and gardens off chemical drugs and practice sustainable land care.
The BC Government (and many local governments) need to "get it" and . . .
- Stop promoting "pest management" and "plant health".
- Start promoting sustainable, low risk landscaping practices and ban cosmetic pesticide use.
- Start encouraging BCers to open our minds and help BC become "pesticide free".
It is easy to be "pesticide free" and practice sustainable land care . . .
To get going, you can . . .
Maintain a healthy lawn and garden that are disease-resistant and pest-free.
- For tips on healthy, sustainable lawn care, click here.
- For tips on healthy, sustainable garden care, click here.
what plant species are suitable for your community and plant them. Do not assume that your local nursery plants are suitable, or "hardy", for your local growing conditions.
Find like-minded people
by checking out Pesticide Free supporters
Go to local events. These are a great way to meet like-minded gardeners and learn more about sustainable approaches for your area . . .
- The Earthwise Society has numerous Pesticide Free initiatives, including their educational organic garden and farm store in Boundary Bay, near Tsawwassen.
- BC's Gaia College holds numerous organic land care and certification courses throughout BC.
See "Gaia's 'Cultivating' Events" right sidebar for more on their 2011 courses and events.
- Seedy Saturdays are a terrific way to find out what grows best in your area (and what’s going on).
- The "grown in BC" Society for Organic Urban Land Care (SOUL) helps individuals, landscape professionals and communities transition to organic land care practices through education, certification and standardization.
For more on how to "Get 'SOUL' in Your Yard", see right sidebar.
- Vancouver’s UBC Farm hosts sustainable community events.
Use existing educational info . . .
- BC has some exceptional municipal programs . . . see left sidebar "PF Municipal Programs". For complete list, click here.
- Avoid "plant health" programs as these promote IPM and are usually in communities that allow continued pesticide use on public and private lands.
"Pesticide free" programs are healthier and safer for children, pets and the environment.
Do your own online research. You may be surprised at the Pesticide Free info at your finger tips. Here are some online links to get you going . . .
Go organic . . . the White House family has.
- Educate yourself about "green washing" when selecting plants, fertilizers and other landscaping products.
There are no labeling standards for “natural”, “organic” or “green”. Read the ingredients to know what you are buying.
Home Depot and Rona do not sell cosmetic pesticides in some BC stores and have less toxic products.
- Choose "certified organic" products. There are certification standards for these products, guaranteed to be chemical-free.
Use the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) to find these products.
- Be wary of municipal compost programs . . . you may be unwittingly using toxic compost from lawns and gardens that used cosmetic pesticides.
Heat, biological decay and time do NOT remove concentrated toxins.
If your municipal compost (and any other source) is not tested and certified organic, don’t use it. Make your own – you’ll know it’s not contaminated.
Check out these sources (if you haven't already!) . . .
Check out these helpful references . . .
- Allen, Will. The War On Bugs. 2008.
- Bradley, Fern Marshall, Barbara W. Ellis and Ellen Phillips, ed. Rodale’s Ultimate Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening: The Indispensable Green Resource for Every Gardener. 2009.
- Canadian Organic Grower.
- Cullen, Mark. The Canadian Garden Primer. 2008.
- Dell, Owen. Sustainable Landscaping for Dummies. 2009.
- Denckla, Tanya. The Gardener’s A - Z Guide to Growing Organic Food: 765 Varieties of Vegetables, Herbs, Fruit and Nuts. 2003.
- Ellis, Barbara W. Ellis and Fern M. Bradley, ed. The Organic Gardener's Handbook of Natural Insect & Disease Control: A Complete Problem-Solving Guide to Keeping Your Garden and Yard Healthy Without Chemicals. 1996.
- Franklin, Stuart. Building a healthy lawn. A safe and natural approach. 1988.
- Hermary, Heide. The Essence of Organic Gardening. Seeing and Doing Things Differently and Inspirational Handbook For Ecologically Conscious Gardeners. 2008.
- Herriot, Carolyn. A Year on the Garden Path: A 52 Week Organic Gardening Guide. 2005.
- Herriot, Carolyn. The Zero-Mile Diet A Year-Round Guide to Growing Organic Food. 2010.
- Lopez, Andrew. Natural Pest Control: Alternatives to Chemicals for the Home and Garden. 2003.
- Miller, Elizabeth. Pests: A Practical Guide to Natural Management of Garden Pests – from Borers and Nematodes to Rabbit and Deer. 2000.
- Nancarrow, Loren and Janet Hogan. Dead Daisies Make Me Crazy: Garden Solutions Without Chemical Pollution. 2000.
- Nancarrow, Loren and Janet Hogan. Dead Snails Leave No Trails: Natural Pest Control for Home and Garden. 1996.
- Organic Gardening.
- Peters, Laura. Organic Gardening for Canada. 2010.
- Primeau, Liz. Front Yard Gardens. Growing More Than Grass. 2008.
- Roberts, Tom. 100% Natural Organic Pest Control for Home and Garden. 2003.
- Rubin, Carole. How to Get Your Lawn & Garden Off Drugs: A Basic Guide to Pesticide-Free Gardening in North America. 2003.
- Rubin, Carole. How to Get Your Lawn Off Grass: a North American Guide to Turning off the Water Tap and Going Native. 2002.
- Schultz, Warren. A Man’s Turf: The Perfect Lawn. 2000.
- Schultz, Warren. Natural Pest Control: Alternatives to Chemicals for the Home and Garden. 1990.
- Schultz, Warren. Ed. The Ecological Gardener’s Guide to Foiling Pests by Brooklyn Botanic Garden. 2001.
- Seymour, John. The New Self-Sufficient Gardener The Complete Illustrated Guide to Planning, Growing, Storing and Preserving Your Own Garden Produce. 2008.
- Spiegleman, Anne. Talking Dirt. The Dirt Diva's Down-to-Earth Guide to Organic Gardening. 2010.
- Tvedten, Steve. www.thebestcontrol.com
- Tukey, Paul. The Organic Lawn - Care Manual: An All Natural Low Maintenance System for a Safe and Beautiful Yard. 2007.
Check out the six other topics in this section including . . .
- For tips for a healthy and sustainable garden, click here.
- For tips for a healthy and sustainable lawn, click here.
- For over 100 Pesticide Free initiatives in BC, click here.