A Good Habit to Make
The Healthy Yard Pledge is the TOP Priority of GCA’s Conservation Committee this year! Please go to the GCA website’s Conservation Committee home page and read about this pledge, and how you can make your yard healthy for family and neighbors, as well as for nature! We are willing to bet most of you have already implemented these steps!
Click here to see the reasons GCA lists for taking the Pledge and adhering to its guidelines.
Pesticides from our lawns and gardens wash into our drinking water, and together with pharmaceuticals that we wash down the drain, are the most widespread source of pollution in our drinking water. Even tiny amounts have recently been found to cause serious harm, and the exposure adds up.
Most of the land in the United States is privately owned, and these owners also control how local schools, churches, and parks are cared for. Currently, homeowners use ten times more chemicals per acre than farmers according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) found that almost every stream, lake, and river sampled, and half of the groundwater wells, across the country tested positive for pesticides. Tests by the Environmental Protection Agency show that half of the streams nationwide and up to 70 percent in the Northeast and Midwest have enough fertilizer to be deemed of poor quality to support life.
Many of these pesticides and synthetic fertilizers are hormone disruptors and are linked through research and epidemiologic studies to an increased incidence of autism and ADHD, diabetes and obesity, breast cancer, prostate cancer, Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and infertility.
Pharmaceuticals flushed down the drain or disposed of in landfills also wind up in our drinking water. Tests by the USGS also found that 81 percent of groundwater tested positive for drugs.
Synthetic fertilizers in water also may lead to harmful algal blooms. These algal blooms deplete the water of oxygen, killing fish. Exposure to the toxin in blue green algae has been associated with an increased risk of neurodegenerative disorders.
Our drinking water is the biggest source of exposure to chemicals that can harm us. Pesticides can’t be filtered out. The only way to prevent them from getting into our water supply is to not use them. Bottled water is not a solution because it comes from the same streams, lakes, and wells that our drinking water comes from. It is also not tested as thoroughly as tap water.
So let’s all make our lives healthier by keeping our yards healthy! Sign on today at the Conservation Committee page.