Step 1 - Make the Decision to Go Organic
Lawns are an important part of suburban life as they provide an ideal place for children and companion animals to play. However, since all pesticides are poisons, and children and animals are especially susceptible to pesticides hazards, a 100% pesticide-free organically maintained lawn is the right way to go.
Many people assume that having a lush, green lawn requires synthetic fertilizers and toxic pesticides. Unfortunately, using toxic chemicals on your lawn exposes you, your family and your pets to their effects, and storing pesticides presents the risk of accidental poisonings of animals and young children. Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of pesticides. (National Academy of Sciences "Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children").
The intensive use of pesticides on Long Island has resulted in 117 different pesticides products having been detected in Long Island's groundwater. (Long Island Pesticide Pollution Prevention Strategy NYS Department of Environmental Conservation 7/11/2014)
For more information about the dangers of pesticides to children, as studied by National Institutes of Health:
- Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Prenatal Residential Proximity to Agricultural Pesticides: The CHARGE Study
- Household Exposure to Pesticides and Risk: The ESCALE Study (SFCE)
- Pesticides in Suffolk County (2010)
- Groundwater Contamination on Long Island
- Handbook of Successful Ecological Lawn Care (Paul Sachs)
- The Chemical-Free Lawn (Warren Schultz)
Long Island Organic Landscapers
Although it's easy for the average homeowner to maintain their lawn organically, some may too busy and wish to hire a professional. In that case there are thousands of landscapers on Long Island to choose from, but only a small but growing number of experts who can maintain your lawn and landscape without the use of chemical pesticides. They can be found here.