When I was a kid, my parents used a lawn service called ChemLawn. Men in green uniforms would come and spray florescent mystery liquid that killed the dandelions. Afterward, I’d run around barefoot. No biggie.
These days, parents worry about this sort of thing. I currently use a local lawn service, and they have assured me that their pesticides are safe. Yet, after they treat my yard for weeds and grubs, they post little signs that warn my children not to play in the grass for 24 hours.
One Montclair mom wishes I’d stop. Suzanne Aptman was alarmed by the number of these signs she saw around town, so she started a group called Safe Lawns Montclair. She believes we can have great grass that is also green. Along with a core group of homeowners and renters, Aptman hopes more people will stop dumping chemicals on their properties. She’s even hosting a free event to help educate residents (i.e. me).
Aptman told me that lawn chemicals increase the risk of cancer, birth defects and neurological problems. They kill wildlife and contaminate our drinking water. She says New York State has started banning some pesticides. Countries from Kuwait to Belize to Sweden have banned the use of a common lawn chemical that is also a component of Agent Orange.
She hopes we’ll persuade our current lawn services to go greener or use eco-friendly companies. She even posts earthwise ways we could–gasp–take care of our yards ourselves.
To find out more, check out Safe Lawns Montclair’s upcoming event:
Non-Toxic Lawn Care Practices
When: Wednesday, October 27, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Van Vleck House, 21 Van Vleck St., Montlair, NJ 07042
Cost: Free, but RSVP required.
(Photo by Eddie~S)