A Letter To Our Neighbors

To our neighbors:

We know it’s important to you to maintain your home. You’ve made an investment and you want to take care of it. Having a well kept lawn and yard is one of the ways you show that you are a good neighbor. You care about property values, not just your own, but those of the whole neighborhood.

Neighbors

You take pride in where you live, and for some of  you, lawn care is considered part of your civic duty. You have put time and money into the appearance of your property because you care. We understand this and appreciate the gesture.

None of these things would we expect or even ask you to change, however, we’d like for you to take a moment to listen to the neighbors you care about, and consider a few things.

Approxiamtely 90 million pounds of pesticide active ingredients are used on U.S. lawns annually. Our culture has been sold on a $70 billion+ industry model for lawn care. Many of us have heard of a ‘4 step program’. Synthetic fertilizers, herbicides (both pre and post emergent), and insecticides are used, usually 4 or more times a season to get rid of ‘weeds‘ and grubs and green up the turf. Once you begin a program like this – whether you do it yourself by purchasing the ‘weed and feed’ formulas at the local hardware store, or hire a company to do it for you – you step onto what is known as the pesticide treadmill.

 

TruPoisonPostcard

At every turn, promises of the ‘perfect’ lawn, but at what cost?

 

None of these products will actually eradicate the weeds or the insects – they aren’t meant to solve problems – you must keep using the product indefinitely. Year after year, you pay, they spray. This certainly benefits industry profits, but what about the rest of us?

The products that you are being told are essential to a nice lawn are legal, and they are regulated, and they are sold in stores. Many of you make the assumption that because of this, these products must also be safe. Unfortunately, this is not the case. There are many myths about pesticides. For example; the products being purchased and used by homeowners and lawn companies have not been appropriately tested or evaluated for many health effects.

Did you know, only active ingredients are required to be tested? That testing is done by the manufacturer and submitted to the regulatory agency. The EPA reviews the industry studies which are rarely, if at all, available to the public or published in any peer reviewed journals. The whole formulated product that ends up on your lawn is comprised of a percentage of active ingredient(s) and other or ‘inert’ ingredients.

pesticide-training-course-uc-davis-safety-part-5-of-5-7-638

Source: UC Davis

The whole product is not being tested. The chemicals it breaks down into are not tested. Combinations of active ingredients are not tested (like those in a 3-way herbicide product). They are not routinely evaluated for hormone mimicking effects known as endocrine disruption or for metabolic disruption or intergenerational effects (how will your children and grandchildren be effected by your exposure?) and neither are they tested for developmental toxicity.

Dozens of leading scientific and medical experts recently released a consensus statement on toxic chemicals and our children’s health. Their conclusion?

Based on these findings, we assert that the current system in the United States for evaluating scientific evidence and making health-based decisions about environmental chemicals is fundamentally broken. To help reduce the unacceptably high prevalence of neurodevelopmental disorders in our children, we must eliminate or significantly reduce exposures to chemicals that contribute to these conditions. We must adopt a new framework for assessing chemicals that have the potential to disrupt brain development and prevent the use of those that may pose a risk. This consensus statement lays the foundation for developing recommendations to monitor, assess, and reduce exposures to neurotoxic chemicals. These measures are urgently needed if we are to protect healthy brain development so that current and future generations can reach their fullest potential.

These products are linked by scientific evidence to a host of health problems for people and pets, and cause harm to the environment. Here are a few facts:

  • In 2011, approximately 26.7 million tons of pollutants were emitted by gasoline powered lawn and garden equipment.
  • Grass, per the EPA’s nationwide estimate, requires 9 billion gallons of water a day to keep green.
  • Roundup, the world’s most popular herbicide is listed by the WHO as a probable carcinogen, shows evidence of endocrine disruption and is genotoxic – which means it damages DNA in a way that can lead to cancer.
  • A 2015 meta analysis from Harvard University found a significant increase in the risk of childhood leukemia associated with herbicide exposure and also found that childhood exposure to residential insecticides was associated with a significant increase in risk of childhood leukemia and childhood lymphomas
  • Neonicotinoids, are the most commonly used insecticide in the world. Both commercial and consumer grub control products are typically neonics like imidacloprid. In addition to being highly toxic to bees and songbirds, evidence is emerging that this class of pesticides pose a threat to the developing brain (Kara et al. 2015)
  • Studies have linked lawn pesticides with canine malignant lymphoma and higher bladder cancer risk. Dogs also can expose their owners, children and other pets in the house to these chemicals. Researchers also found the widespread evidence of lawn chemicals in the urine of pet dogs. Even among dogs in households where chemicals were not applied.
  • According to the Audubon Society of Connecticut, 76 million birds are killed annually by pesticides.
  • 2,4-D, most famously known as a main component of Agent Orange, and the active ingredient in most ‘weed and feed’ products, is linked to numerous health effects like cancer and endocrine disruption. And the evidence continues to mount.
  • Lawn pesticides end up in our drinking water. Out of the 30 most commonly used, 17 are detected in groundwater and 23 have the potential to leach.
  • The chemicals we are exposed to in the environment are not tested for their combined effects, but scientists have found that many of these chemicals can increase cancer risks at the tiny levels we are being frequently exposed to.

This is very important information to think about. Please realize though, it is equally important for you to understand not just the health and environmental impacts of conventional lawn care, but how we are all personally effected by the lawn chemicals and the landscaping machines being used in our neighborhood.

We are prevented from growing vegetables gardens because of the drift coming from treated yards. We worry about the health of our children who play outside and are being exposed to the chemicals that have drifted over. When the truck came to spray your yard for mosquitoes, many of our honeybees died. Our chickens stopped laying eggs for several days after being exposed to chemical drift. We have seen the neighbors barefoot child run to catch their ball that rolled over into your grass just hours after it had herbicides and insecticides applied to it. We worry about our pets who, just like children, are highly vulnerable to exposure. We worry about our family member being treated for cancer and our loved one with a chronic illness. We worry about our unborn babies, whose development in the womb can be adversely effected by chemical exposures.

We have suffered severe asthma attacks requiring emergency room visits from the highly polluting gas leafblowers that the landscaping companies use. You can hear them on almost a daily basis here. The particulate matter like dust, pollen, animal feces and pesticide residue they launch into the air lingers for hours after they’ve packed up and left. We have watched your lawn care company  blow the granules of insecticide  back onto the grass after spreading it, and seen the visible clouds of poison dust they blow into the air. The landscapers leafblowers are spreading lead contaminated dust and dirt from yards where there are older homes that have been painted with lead based paint. Some of our children have lead poisoning.

We will likely never know the full impact of these lawn care practices on our health, or on the environment, however there exists more than enough information at this point to take a precautionary approach.

“When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically. In this context the proponent of an activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof. The process of applying the precautionary principle must be open, informed and democratic and must include potentially affected parties. It must also involve an examination of the full range of alternatives, including no action.” Wingspread Statement on the Precautionary Principle, Jan. 1998

Does this mean forgoing lawn care and having unkempt yards overgrown with crabgrass? Absolutely not! Maintaining your lawn can be done with natural methods. Using a systems based approach to lawn care is not only better for people, pets and the environment, but because you get off the pesticide treadmill, it saves you money in the long term due to decreased inputs. And if you are a DIY kind of person, it will save on labor as well.

Let us help you in making this change.

We can help you to find a good local company if you hire someone, and we can help you learn how to use a natural approach to lawn care if you do your own.

Join the Non Toxic Dover NH group, or How To Create a Non Toxic Community group on Facebook for assistance in making the switch to lawn care that meets everyone’s expectations and doesn’t take any risks with our health or our environment.

As a community we can put the focus on health, not just of our lawns but on residents of all species, and our natural resources – while at the same time cultivating healthy relationships with our neighbors. This is the new civic duty. Please join us.

 

 

 

 

 

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Dover School District Needs a Pesticide Policy Now

Back in May of 2015 I wrote an open letter to the Dover school district Superintendent Elaine Arbour.

Here it stands, July 7th, and despite a verbal commitment, numerous emails, phone calls and sharing of resources, we still have no policy in place to protect students.

 

pesticide application sign athletic

A pesticide application sign on a private athletic field where children play in Middletown, Connecticut. A ban is in place on school athletic fields grades k-8.

Another open letter seemed appropriate given the amount of time that has passed, and especially in light of the important consensus statement released a week ago.

Dear Superintendent Arbour,

 

In May of 2015 we discussed creating a policy to protect Dover students from unnecessary pesticide exposure. I was verbally promised a policy would be created.

It is now July 2016.

On July 1st dozens of scientists, physicians and public health advocates created a scientific consensus statement regarding environmental impacts on children’s brain development.

“The TENDR Consensus Statement is a call to action to reduce exposures to toxic chemicals that can contribute to the prevalence of neurodevelopmental disabilities in America’s children. The TENDR authors agree that widespread exposures to toxic chemicals in our air, water, food, soil, and consumer products can increase the risks for cognitive, behavioral, or social impairment, as well as specific neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (Di Renzo et al. 2015; Gore et al. 2015; Lanphear 2015; Council on Environmental Health 2011). This preventable threat results from a failure of our industrial and consumer markets and regulatory systems to protect the developing brain from toxic chemicals. To lower children’s risks for developing neurodevelopmental disorders, policies and actions are urgently needed to eliminate or significantly reduce exposures to these chemicals. Further, if we are to protect children, we must overhaul how government agencies and business assess risks to human health from chemical exposures, how chemicals in commerce are regulated, and how scientific evidence informs decision making by government and the private sector.”

Dover’s children deserve action on this matter now. I have sent a sample policy to you months ago to use as a template in drafting one for the Dover school system. We have an excellent bus idling policy and RSA in place, why do we not yet have one for pesticides?
No more time should be wasted in putting together this plan of action. Please contact me ASAP and let me know where you are at, and how the plan is to be going forward. Every season we wait, the more our children’s developing brains and bodies are put at risk by the toxic chemicals being used on our athletic fields and near play areas.

 

Please join me in urging the Superintendent and School Board to act now to protect our children from needless toxic chemical exposure.
Dr. Elaine M. Arbour, Ed.D.
Superintendent
e.arbour@dover.k12.nh.us
603.516.6800

You may email the board at: DoverSchoolBoard@dover.k12.nh.us

Learn more about Project TENDR and their consensus statement here.

UPDATE:

July, 21st 2016

Dr. Arbour has sent a response regarding the progress of the pesticide policy.
I appreciate your follow-up email regarding a pesticides policy for the Dover School District. We are in the process of drafting one with the City that will then be brought to the School Board.

 

In the meantime, both City and School District employees have been attending trainings on safe alternatives to pesticides. We have an internal meeting scheduled for August 17th to continue to coordinate our policies, and I will be working on several draft policy updates, including pesticide use, tomorrow.

 

I understand your concerns about keeping our children safe, as well as the learning and environmental impacts of pesticide use. They are being taken seriously and will be addressed in the coming months.

 

Respectfully,

 

Elaine M. Arbour, Ed.D.

 

We are grateful for the Superintendent taking this matter seriously, and look forward to  seeing a policy be enacted to protect the health of Dover’s children.

 

 

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Lyme, Tickborne Diseases And Pesticides

Lyme disease is a serious infection that can be transmitted by the bite of Ixodes scapularis – more commonly known as the black-legged deer tick. Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, was discovered in the early 1980’s in Old Lyme, Connecticut.  Borrellia is a sprial shaped bacteria known as a spirochete. It can cause arthritic, neurological, cardiovascular and many other symptoms.

Less than half of all Lyme patients recall ever seeing a bulls eye rash or being bitten by a tick. Lyme can also be mistaken for many other illnesses thereby delaying proper medical care, and making the infection much harder to treat. The CDC estimates that Lyme disease infects over 300,000 people a year. That is twice as many people diagnosed with breast cancer, and six-times as many people with HIV. Lyme disease is a public health crisis.

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Photo courtesy of lymestats.org

Ticks don’t just carry Lyme disease. Powassan, Ehrlichia, Anaplamosis, Babesia, and Bartonella are just some of the infections they can transmit. These tickborne diseases will vary based on locations, and species of ticks.  It is extremely important for people to be aware of the risk and prevalence of these diseases and to take precautions to avoid being bitten.

Because of the serious nature of these infections, many people use unsafe repellents and yard treatments to try to reduce their risk. Unfortunately, they are simply adding a different type of risk to the equation. According to a randomized control study conducted on the effectiveness of bifrenthrin (a synthetic pyrethroid) over the course of two years found that while the pesticides did reduce the number of ticks, they did not make any significant difference in the number of tick encounters, or the incidence of tickborne illness. This suggests that people are being exposed in other places, not just at home. This underscores the need for appropriate use of repellents and least toxic management strategies for both homeowners and public recreational areas.

Synthetic pyrethroids, (like bifrenthrin used in the study mentioned above) are not a least toxic option. Pyrethroids are commonly used as a yard and clothing treatment for ticks. Like the widely used permethrin, they work by by interfering with basic nerve cell functioning. Studies in mice and rats show that sub-lethal intoxication leads to aggression, hypersensitivity to external stimulation, whole-body tremor, convulsions and paralysis. Permethrin binds tightly to soil and household dust. Permethrin is highly toxic to bees, fish and aquatic organisms.  Studies on permethrin have shown it can interfere with the hormones in our bodies. According to the scientists at TEDX:

“One of our primary concerns is recent research demonstrating that permethrin exhibits the characteristics of an endocrine disruptor. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with the communication system of glands, hormones, and cellular receptors that control the body’s internal functions. A relatively unique feature of endocrine disruptors is that they exert their effects at extremely low doses, even when higher doses exhibit no adverse effects. Disorders that have increased in prevalence in recent years such as unusual male gonadal development, infertility, ADHD, autism, intellectual impairment, diabetes, thyroid disorders, and childhood and/or adult cancers are now being linked to prenatal exposure to endocrine disruptors.

In the permethrin studies of health effects on the female reproductive system, excessive cell growth was a common finding. In contrast, cell death and reduced tissue weight of male reproductive organs were among the findings on the male reproductive system. One study suggested that the products permethrin breaks down into may be 100 times more potent with regards to endocrine disruption than permethrin itself. Due to the potential endocrine disrupting effects of permethrin, pregnant women should take extra steps to avoid exposure.”

The toxicity of permethrin has been shown to be greatly enhanced when used in combination with DEET, an insect repellent. Given how widely used pyrethroids are, it seems prudent to seek out an alternative to DEET. This is one reason I do not feel comfortable recommending it, the second reason being just like pesticides, most commercial repellents have ‘other ingredients’ which are not disclosed or tested properly for safety (most times not tested at all) due to our completely inadequate chemical laws. It’s impossible to know if a product is safe to use or not when you don’t even know the majority of the ingredients in the formulation.

OFF!label

85% ‘none of your business just put it on your skin!’.

Seeing as how our skin absorbs anything we put on it, (think nicotine or birth control patches) it seems prudent to at least know what that something is, yes?

Pets are another area of concern when it comes to ticks, since they can hitch a ride on your furry companions and enter your home. It is important to use a product for both your protection and that of your pet, as they too are vulnerable to Lyme and other tickborne diseases. The majority of flea and tick prevention options are fairly toxic, unfortunately.

From the Natural Resource Defense Council:

“Most conventional flea and tick products—including collars, topical treatments, sprays, and dusts—are registered as pesticides and regulated by the EPA. (Those given orally, like pills, must be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.) But here’s the ugly truth: Many of the pesticides allowed for use on pets are linked to serious health issues in people, such as cancer and neurological and respiratory problems. Pets can also suffer: Skin irritation, neurological problems, gastrointestinal disorders, and even organ failure have been reported as a result of pet poisonings.

The government has faced criticism from NRDC and other watchdog groups about insufficient safety standards for these products. Consumers, as well as some veterinarians, don’t know the whole story, says NRDC senior scientist Miriam Rotkin-Ellman. “Many vets count on the EPA to make sure that the products on the market are safe if used correctly.” Unfortunately, the ingredients in these products are still quite dangerous, and regular use can result in unsafe exposure, particularly for children and pregnant women.”

However, we cannot leave our pets unprotected, so we need to look for the safest options available. Pets are particularly vulnerable to pesticide use. Be sure that you research proper use of any products you put on your pet, especially essential oils. They are a great tool, but it’s generally not a good idea to try homemade recipes for your pet. Be sure to use a product that is formulated specifically for use on a dog or cat. Both have different sensitivities and tolerances when it comes to oils and many other substances. Natural substances are not always benign, and should be used properly. In some cases, they should not be used at all.

It is imperative that we do what we can to prevent the severe, debilitating illnesses spread by ticks, but the answer is not to expose ourselves, children, pets and the environment to chronic low doses of toxic chemicals over a lifetime. The health of American people is at an all time low, our children suffer from asthma, allergies, cancer, neurological and autoimmune disorders at unprecedented and rising rates. These and many more diseases are linked to pesticide exposure. We are responsible for this. And now, we must be responsible.

As the picture says: ‘what part of this is pesticides?’ We don’t have time to wait to find out exactly how much. We already know pesticides are well linked to these conditions. We can cut our risks and the risks to those around us today. Let’s not let fear of vector borne disease let us lose sight of the big picture. The threat from pesticides is equally serious.

Pesticide use not only affects you, but also those around you, and can have far reaching consequences you may never even be aware of.

Please use the information here to guide you in making smart decision regarding tick control. Share with family and friends.

I will be updating this list of products over time. Please note that anything included on the list has 100% of ingredients disclosed. I do not sell any of these products, and links are not necessarily an endorsement. Please use good judgement in choosing and using products – this list is merely a guide.

SAFER PRODUCTS FOR INSECT CONTROL

YARD TREATMENTS:

cedar oil industries

mosquito barrier

cedarcide

wondercide

beesafe cedar spray

REPELLENTS:

ticks n all

all terrain

wondercide

cedarcide

green mountain repellents

badger balm

justnaturals

homs biteblocker

justneem adios

nature’s cloak

buzz away extreme

FOR PETS:

NRDC green paws flea and tick products directory

Also see About & Resources.

Now that you are armed with some safer products, there are still important steps to take.

Wear protective clothing – rubber boots (hard for ticks to climb), socks tucked into pants and light colored clothing are all recommended as ways to keep ticks from attaching and to make it easier to spot them. There are many cedar oil products available to spray onto socks shoes or clothing as well as using repellents on exposed skin.

Don’t forget to do thorough tick checks – using a lint roller is an efficient way to catch any ticks that may be climbing on you. After coming inside, a shower can rinse off ticks and putting clothes into a hot dryer (before washing!) can kill any ticks that may be hiding. Check your whole body using a hand mirror paying attention to areas like groin or armpits where ticks like to hide. Check your scalp too. We should also make sure our yards are kept free from areas where ticks can hide.

If you do find a tick attached, remove it right! Do not try to smother the tick, or use a match to make it back out. If the tick is disturbed it may regurgitate into you any diseases it carries. Use fine pointed tweezers, grasping the tick as close to the mouth as possible and pull straight up steadily without jerking. From the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society:

While the longer the tick is attached, the higher the risk of transmission, it is possible to get Lyme disease even if the tick is attached for less than 24 hours. The salivary juices of the tick, which contain anticoagulants, anesthetics, and immune suppressors, also contain microbes that can be injected at the time of attachment. Transmission of bacteria by ticks attached less than 24 hours has been well documented in animals, and a recent paper last year documented that this can occur in humans as well.


Save the tick
and send it for testing. Testing the tick is far more accurate than currently available blood tests. It takes weeks for the body to create antibodies, so a negative blood test right after being bitten is not an indication that you do not have Lyme. Waiting for symptoms to appear, like a bulls eye rash is also not a reliable indicator. If you do see a bulls eye rash, then you do have Lyme without question and should be treated with no less than three weeks of antibiotics immediately.  For diagnostic testing Tick Report takes three business days. While waiting to get the results back from the test, if you live in an endemic area especially, you should seriously consider treating the bite! Waiting can mean the infection has time to move into the body and progress to a stage that is much harder to treat and very serious. Early treatment is key.

For more information on Lyme and tickborne diseases, go to ILADS.org.

Let’s all be aware of the serious threat of both tickborne illness and pesticide exposure, and use that knowledge to protect ourselves and others.

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FREE Lawn Care Workshop

DoverNHFlyer 3.31.16.DoverNHFlyer 3.31.16.-page-001

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Greenwashing

While many people choose to handle lawn care on their own, for others it makes sense to hire a company to do the job. Or perhaps you have a large pest problem and you’ll need to hire a pest management company. How do you choose a service provider? More importantly, how do you find one that is going to choose the least toxic methods or products to get the job done?

Some companies claim to be Eco-conscious service providers, but in reality nothing could be further from the truth.

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Greenwashing (a compound word modeled on “whitewash”), or “green sheen,” is a form of spin in which green PR or green marketing is deceptively used to promote the perception that an organization’s products, aims or policies are environmentally friendly.

I was made aware recently of a story about a contractor, with a very green sounding name using anticoagulent baits for a mouse issue in a basement apartment. A neighbor inquired, concerned about her pet and the many other animals that live in the area. The contractor repeatedly stated to her that the bait he was using would not cause secondary poisoning. The neighbor got the name of the product and spoke with the state Pesticide Control office. They sent her the label which clearly states:

“Dogs and predatory and scavenging mammals and birds might be poisoned if they feed upon animals that have eaten this bait.”

She was right to be concerned about the safety of neighborhood cats and dogs, as well as the owls and hawks that frequently hunt in the area. Given the potential hazards of this poison, was it even necessary? The short answer is no. Upon further conversation with the contractor, it was found that he did not seal up entry points, and would not be back at any point to check on the baits or remove them. Even after being read the warning on the label, he continued to maintain that there was no need to worry about the safety of animals in the neighborhood. These are not hallmarks of a provider that is eco-friendly or responsible. A contractor using least toxic methods, would have chosen traps to use and sealed up the entry points  the rodents were using.

Using a trap means that a return trip would be necessary to check and dispose of later, and sealing up the places where the rodents were getting in would solve the problem for good, essentially taking away a recurring source of repeat business – things the contractor seeks to avoid – all at the expense of the landlord, tenants and neighborhood animals.

This case of a ten year old boy from Florida should give us all pause.  Peyton McCaughey, became seriously ill along with his family after their home was fumigated with sulfuryl fluoride for a termite infestation. You may be literally putting your life in the hands of these providers. What happened to Peyton, never even needed to happen in the first place. A safer alternative of using heat instead of chemical fumigation already exists.

How can we as consumers avoid falling for greenwashing tactics? The following are a few practical tips on what to do and look for when hiring a contractor.

Be Polite. No one is going to respond favorably to you if you swoop in like the Spanish inquisition. However, if you are polite, and someone is hesitant to give you information, that is a red flag, and a signal to move on.

Ask Questions. For lawns, are they following a systems approach with focus on soil health? Or do they use a product centered approach disguised as ‘natural’ or ‘organic’? If the goal is not to build up the soil so that products are not needed in the future, look else where.  For pest care providers, make sure they are able to correctly identify the pest you have when they inspect your home. Professionals should know the scientific name of the pest and give it to you so you can search it on your own for more info. Sometimes they will need to take the bug back with them for proper identification which is reasonable. If a contractor comes to your home or business, doesn’t recognize the pest and offers to treat your home anyway – do not let him!   Always ask to see the Applicator or Operator’s License of any contractor who comes to your home. And it never hurts to call your local pesticide control division to find out if a company has had any complaints or sanctions.

Products. If it is determined a product must be used: What types of products do they use? Ask for the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) on any product before it is to be used. Are all ingredients listed for the product? What options are there? Are they using the lowest risk pesticide for the job?

The Sustainability Knowledge Group, a global advisory firm, offers these tips for consumers to avoid being misled:

Signs of Greenwashing
•  Advertisements that misleads with words. The terms used have no clear meaning. What do you mean by eco-friendly, all natural etc?
•  Green products vs dirty company. Green products are usually produced by companies with overall sustainable business practices
•  The advertisement misleads with visuals and/or graphics. Because the packaging is green it doesn’t mean it is environmentally friendly
•  Jargon or too scientific information that is vague, too brood and cannot be easily understood
•  Making a green claim about the product without providing any proof to back up that claim
•  The advertisement overstates or exaggerates how green it actually is
•  The advertisement provides data that is totally fabricated
•  Worshiping false labels, claiming that a product is endorsed or certified by a third party when that is not true or the party does not exist
•  Hidden Trade off, a product is not green just because it is made out of paper for instance; we have to examine the whole life cycle of the product.
•  Lesser than two evils. Claiming to be more sustainable that other similar products, does not make a product sustainable
•  The advertisement leaves out important information making any green claim sound better than it is. Is something missing from the ad? Does the ad exist to divert attention from something else that the company is doing? A very good solution to this is to Google the company and find out for yourself what it really does. The internet is an endless source of information and can be very helpful.

Following these suggestions should be helpful in getting you started on the path to finding a reliable and truly green service provider.

For more info, please visit our About & Resources page and Ask The Bugman for information related to pest control.

 

 

 

 

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Council Workshop With Beyond Pesticides

On Wednesday, September 2nd the Dover city council held a workshop meeting devoted in part to a presentation and discussion with Chip Osborne and Jay Feldman from Beyond Pesticides.

This marks the end of our petition and the beginning of a transition to truly sustainable land and turf management practices in the city of Dover.

The city is arranging training with Chip Osborne who will be able to teach the city employees and contractors how to implement a natural systems approach to turf management. A workshop tailored to residents will also be offered, in addition to the municipal training, probably sometime this fall.

Aerial view of lower Henry Law park, one of Dover's organic test sites.

Aerial view of lower Henry Law park, one of Dover’s organic test sites.

During the discussion, councilor Jason Gagnon brings up the economic benefits of reducing and eliminating fertilizer and pesticide use. He’s absolutely right. Nutrient pollution is big problem here for the Great Bay Watershed. Wastewater treatment plant upgrades are necessary – but costly. Fertilizer runoff is one significant source, and responsible fertilizer use is a simple and inexpensive way to make a positive impact and reduce that part of the non-point source load.

It’s time to create truly green spaces in Dover. Thank you to all who signed the petition and lent your support. We are so excited to see the city partnering with Beyond Pesticides, and will keep updating the progress of this effort in the future.

For more updates – join our group on Facebook and follow our page.

Watch the council workshop here:

City Council workshop, 9/2/2015

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Create a Beautiful Organic Lawn This Fall

TopFiveLawnTipsPhoto

Fall will be here before you know it, and it happens to be the ideal time to switch to organic lawn care. Once you get your lawn established, it will save money, time and resources in addition to the obvious and important ecological and public health benefits. Click the link below for the full infographic with great tips to get you started!

https://magic.piktochart.com/embed/6946217-topfivelawntips
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