Have you seen perfect, lush, green lawns around Montclair? Turns out, they’re not as healthy as they may look. Homeowners use pesticides to make them look good. Pesticides affect the health of not only you but other people around you, animals and plants. Read to the bottom of the letter to learn how to keep a pretty green lawn while staying environmentally friendly and safe for every living thing around you. 

The World Health Organization estimates that every year, 20,000 people die globally because of pesticides. How does this happen?

This can happen in many ways, but an example would be when pesticides run off into drains, then into the ocean or a body of water, where fish “breathe” in the pesticide water, and then you eat those fish. Yum, yum! Chemicals for dinner! 

The cost of using pesticides: According to the Environmental Protection Agency, long exposure to pesticides can cause cancer, asthma and more. That’s a lot of diseases. Is it worth it? Do you want to keep your grass green or save lives? Do you want to keep your lawn bug-free, or save animals? Do you want to make your lawn the best one on the block? Or save the planet? It’s an easy decision. The Edgemont Roots and Shoots Club hopes you make the right one. 

How can you achieve a great luscious lawn without pesticides?

  • One effective solution to pesticides is a lucky one! Ladybugs and praying mantises will eat the bothersome bugs that ruin your “amazing” lawn. 
  • Oils have been used as pesticides for centuries, and are some of the most effective, safe alternatives to synthetic insecticides and fungicides. Most oil-based products are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. Safe and effective use of any oil as a pesticide, however, requires a basic understanding of its chemical nature, mode of action and limitations of use. 
  • Foil insects: Strips of aluminum foil under vegetables will reflect light and confuse insects, and can also help vegetables grow. 
  • Plant marigolds and feverfew around vegetable and flower gardens. Most insects dislike the strong odor. Some types of pungent basil and sage also repel a variety of insects. Chives and nasturtium can keep aphids off rose bushes. Borage will keep worms out. 
  • We hope that you will reflect upon this information for your, your childrens’, your neighbors’, your community’s, your pets’ and the ecosystem’s safety, and decide not to use pesticides and herbicides. 

Coco Luraschi (fifth grade), Isabel Meyer (eighth grade), June Harmon (eighth grade). Lila Patel (fifth grade), Sanaya Thomas (eighth grade), Valerie Perra (eighth grade)
Senior leaders of the Edgemont Roots and Shoots Club

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