Harmful pesticides and chemical fertilizers are prolific in the lawn care industry. They’re on shelves in garden and hardware stores, in tanks on the back of city trucks, and commonly used by all the conventional lawn services available to homeowners. Seeing (or smelling) chemical lawn pesticides and fertilizers is commonplace for most, and many people don’t question the use of them. So why use organic lawn care instead of all of these readily available chemical pesticides and fertilizers?
It’s true that non-organic pesticides do a good job of killing weeds; you can often see them working within hours of an application. And chemical fertilizers are often fast-acting, too. Of the most commonly used weed killers (herbicides), the majority of them are considered to be harmful to human, animal, wildlife and natural health. And chemical lawn fertilizers aren’t without fault, either. They come with a whole host of problems, too.
What’s the harm of synthetic chemical-based lawn care?
The disadvantages of synthetic pesticides include a variety of health risks for people, animals, and wildlife.
The disadvantages of chemical fertilizers include poor soil health, low efficiency, and the many environmental health risks involved with run-off. Chemical fertilizers do not contribute to soil health in any way, but can, in fact, harm it. Plus, chemical fertilizers contribute to environmental pollution with excess phosphorus and nitrogen runoff.
Non-organic, synthetic-chemical lawn treatments only work when used repeatedly and often. The harsh, toxic chemicals used on lawns are actually bad for the grass in the long term. The synthetic chemicals used by the majority of lawn care companies work directly on the grass blade to “green it up” with excess nitrogen. The grass will grow quickly and look green, but soil fertility will quickly be depleted due to the quick growth of grass and microbes that suddenly deplete the soil due to lack of real soil nutrition.
The root system and soil are completely ignored in this lawn care treatment approach. These synthetic lawn treatments might make the grass look green and healthy in the short term, but the lawn will require even more chemicals and treatments to keep it that way. That’s because they harm the health of the soil, and when soil health decreases, so does plant health.
When you jump on the chemical lawn care bandwagon, it’s hard to get back off. But switching to all-organic lawn care is more than worth it! Making the switch will restore health and vitality to your lawn, as well as the piece of mind of keeping your family safe from harsh chemicals that are proven to harm humans, animals, and insects.
What harmful chemicals are used in conventional lawn care?
The market for synthetic chemical pesticides and fertilizers is large, and so is the variety. But these chemical treatments all have something in common: they have negative effects on the environment. From water pollution to pollinator decline, pesticides cause a whole host of problems for wildlife. And if the hit to the environment wasn’t enough to cause alarm, many pesticides are now believed to cause health issues for pets and people, too.
The most wide-spread herbicides used on lawns include glyphosate, dicmba, mecroporp (MCPP), pendimethalin, pelargonic acid and trifluralin. All of these are believed to cause health issues in some way. The world’s most widely-used herbicide, glyphosate, has been shown to be carcinogenic. Glyphosate is harmful to human and animal health in many other ways, including disruption in the endocrine and reproductive systems. A common insecticide, imidacloprid, is part of the Neonicotinoid class (aka neonics). Neonicotinoid pesticides act as nerve agents and have been shown to kill bee colonies over time.
These chemicals pose risks to our natural world, as well. Water pollution is a growing issue all over the world, and the use of pesticides and fertilizers is partially to blame for this wide-spread water pollution. Scientists are warning us that “pesticides are leaching through the soil and into groundwater far more commonly than the preconceptions of a decade ago would have predicted.” And, as evidence mounts that our actions have a huge impact on wildlife all over the world, it’s clear that we should be taking simple steps like using organic lawn care to decrease our impact on the environment.
When the health of our world, pets, and children are at stake, it’s more important than ever to take action.
Benefits of organic lawn care
Unlike conventional, chemical-based lawn care, organic lawn care is safe for pets, kids, pollinators, and wildlife. For us, this is priority number one. A beautiful lawn shouldn’t come at a cost to all of the living things that use and enjoy it.
Our entire approach to organic lawn care comes from the basic concept that healthy soil = healthy plants. If you forget about all of the health concerns and environmental risk factors of using conventional chemical-based lawn treatments, you are still left with this basic fact. Synthetic pesticides and chemical-based lawn fertilizers do great harm to the soil by depleting what makes up a huge part of healthy soil; the microbiome and essential nutrients.
Organic lawn care focuses on the health of the soil and lawn. A healthier lawn requires less water, weed control, and fertilizers. A healthy, organically grown lawn resists weeds and pests like a healthy body resists disease. The grass thrives in the nutrient-dense soil and easily overpowers the weeds or pests that try to encroach.
Is organic lawn care worth it? Is the health of the people and animals who use your lawn important to you? Yes? Then organic lawn care is worth every penny. However, it’s also important to remember that organic lawn care is not more expensive than conventional chemical-based lawn care. In the end, using organic lawn care methods will likely decrease your lawn care spending because it will require less weed control, pest control, and fertilizers thanks to the increase in soil and grass health.
How organic lawn care keeps grass green and healthy
To answer the question of how an organic approach to lawn care actually works, we return again to the health of the soil. Are you noticing a theme here? That’s right, let’s say it again: healthy soil = healthy plants. When done right, organic weed control and organic fertilizer treatments focus on building soil health and fertility. Clean Air Lawn Care’s approach, for instance, includes a custom-made soil builder and fertilizer that encourages a healthy soil microbiome, balanced soil nutrients and robust grass growth. We also utilize sustainable mowing practices that encourage a healthy lawn.
“Green,” “sustainable,” and “organic” are buzzwords in many industries right now, including lawn care. But a lot of lawn care companies are not truly sustainable or organic. Clean Air Lawn Care, on the other hand walks the walk. On top of using treatments that are safe and healthy, we use zero-emission lawn equipment that’s powered by the sun.
How you can increase access to sustainable, safe and organic lawn care
We want to make safe, healthy lawn care available to everyone! And YOU can help increase access to 100% sustainable, organic lawn care by opening a franchise or spreading the word about this green franchise opportunity. When more Clean Air Lawn Care franchises open across the country, more people have access to safe, effective and organic lawn care. If you aren’t ready to open your own business, but knows someone who is, share the Clean Air Lawn Care business model with them.
Our franchise owners not only enjoy making their communities safer, healthier and prettier with organic lawn care, but they also enjoy the financial flexibility and independent lifestyle that owning a lucrative green business allows. If that sounds like a great way to earn a living, we’d love to hear from you!