The town officials of Camden, Maine and Greenwich, Connecticut USA are pretty smart if you ask me. They’ve thought about something that maybe you and I don’t give much thought to – the use of pesticides in public spaces, particularly parks where kids frolic and play. I remember growing up, I used to get bindi-eyes stuck in my feet. It was a rite of passage really. Bindi-eyes piercing your thongs and pricking your feet. Ouch. But then along came weed killer. Bindi-eyes are a weed and competes with grass so local councils and homeowners spray the little bastards with weed killer. Wouldn’t want bindis to spoil a lush green lawn now would we.
The use of weed killer and various pesticides can be harmful to humans, birds and animals. My grandmother used to knock off bindi-eyes with a very simple home remedy: 2 tablespoons of iron sulphate; 4.5 litres of water. That’s it. Mix it, shake it and spray it on the bindi-eyes. Even household vinegar can be used as an organic weed killer.
And it seems that town officials in Camden and Greenwich have woken up to the environmental hazards of spraying weed killers and pesticides. Here’s a photo of a public park in Camden:
A healthy lawn boasting gorgeous lush green grass. No chemicals, pesticides or weed killers used. Camden town officials have adopted a new policy, which you can read here in full. Apparently, a group of concerned citizens (Citizens for a Green Camden) put the pressure on authorities to eliminate toxic pesticides and weed killers from public parks and fields. And here’s a section of the policy:
“All pesticides are toxic to some degree and the widespread use of pesticides is both a major environmental problem and a public health issues. Federal regulations of pesticides is no guarantee of safety. Camden recognizes that the use of pesticides may have profound effects upon indigenous plants, surface water and ground water, as well as unintended effects upon people, birds and other animals in the vicinity of treated areas. Camden recognizes that all citizens, particularly children, have a right to protection from exposure to hazardous chemicals and pesticides”.
Of the thirty most commonly used lawn pesticides ,14 are probable or possible carcinogens, 13 are linked with birth defects, 21 with reproductive effects, 15 with neurotoxicity, 26 with liver or kidney damage and 27 are sensitizers and/or irritants. So it’s essential that local councils adopt a pesticide free policy.
I use this collection of simple, organic recipes when out and about in the garden to control insects and bugs. No nasty toxic stuff. There’s absolutely no need to use chemicals. You don’t want to end up like this poor dude. With no nasty sprays, you’ll find birds and butterflies happily returning to your garden.
Image credit: Irregular Times.