Tagged with "Human health"
Giving and Taking
I am writing this on Dec 21, the winter solstice. The shortest day, the longest night, the cusp of reawakening, the time of reckoning. The traditional time to share gifts to reinforce relationships and make sure that our future is bright. But, the gift thing is not what it used to be. Neither is the future.
Rather than the ancient version; thanking, praising, and gifting the earth to ensure that the systems that sustain us will be reborn as the days grow longer, we have turned our back on nature and share gifts between ourselves. Gifts that celebrate our ability to give, our personal resources. For mother nature, not much to celebrate: it’s all at her expense. Ouch, naughty, not nice.
Let’s do some seasonal reckoning. How is this working out?
We have achieved something no other species has managed to do: In our attempts to take total control over nature, we have “put nature firmly back in charge”* The result? We are facing some serious challenges.
Does this sound scary for the future of us? Yes and no. What if we look at it as a fantastic gift? What if Nature is handing us some plain language about being nice to her, hoping we will get the message before things get too messy, and step into the future with her? What if this is the message we will finally get? It is a very big gift. Can we reach out for it? Can we embrace the natural world, without fear, and with a dedication to cooperation? We have all we need to do it: reconnecting with the wisdom of the past and blending it with up-to-the-moment science. We probably can ensure our species’ health and happiness without harming earth’s complex systems.
The gift of the future is right outside your door. There is so much there for you, it’s all in how you take, and how you give.
Your year ahead. Naughty or Nice?
*with a nod to Marcia Bjornerud and Elizabeth Kolbert
If you need the naughty future spelled out for you:
A dense, delightful and endlessly surprising book, well worth the deep dive:
Ways of Being Animals, Plants, Machines: The Search for a Planetary Intelligence by James Bridle
To ease your conscience about the gifts you feel obliged to give:
Is Goldenrod aggravating your allergies? Nope, not likely. How do I know? Because it has bees! Goldenrod has sticky pollen that attracts and sticks to insects who then carry it around to do the pollination thing. Alternately, wind pollinated plants have light and airy pollen that spreads by air. The only way that Goldenrod pollen is going up your nose is if you stick your face in it. The real culprit is Ragweed, whose innocuous green blooms produce billions of delicate pollen particles that can travel invisibly through the air for miles, and make millions (of people) miserable. They open at the same time as Goldenrod's bright yellow, hightly visible flowers. So guess who gets the blame?
There are close to 100 native species of Goldenrod (Solidago), some of them rather aggressive, but many are well worth considering for your garden. We love the one called “Fireworks”. And, of course, they are all great for bees, and hundreds of other beneficiall insects as well. Go Goldenrod!
And, just to be fair, Ragweed (Ambrosia) is a native plant too. It provides food for over 400 different insects.
A Sad note: I took these photos recently on a field trip in Ohio. There were farm fields all around. There was not a bee to be found.
Tick Protection for Furry Friends
Clover says PAWS before you reach for poisons
Hi friends! Tick season is surging and it's easy to want to reach for chemical solutions to keep your pets safe. But owners beware! Read labels before you put anything on your furry friends. Would you put it on yourself or your kids? Many tick collars contain Imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid, which is a family of chemicals that have been blamed for bee colony collapse and are banned in Europe.
My current favorite tick-repelling treatment is PetzLife Herbal Defense, a simple powder that I eat 5 days a month with my food. My collar, (which is the only tick collar I don't loathe) is made by Holistic Family and Pets. These solutions aren't perfect, but I have very few ticks on me. Fortunately, my mom checks me thoroughly every night which is the best way to be sure I am safe.
- Clover von Gal
Tick'ed Off? Here's What to Do
Tick hysteria has begun and we hear you loud and clear, but there are some things to consider before spraying your lawn and landscape.
Ticks are HARD to kill. It's far more likely that your spraying will decimate populations of beneficial insects while the ticks continue to thrive.
Synthetic tick sprays are toxic and create a false sense of security. They kill pollinators (butterflies!), they do not kill all the ticks, and new ticks wander right back in soon after the spray is applied.
Spraying your property will also give you a false sense of security and could lead to less diligence when it comes to the things that really do prevent tick-borne disease: applying repellent, checking yourself, removing clothing promptly and showering shortly after spending time outdoors.
The best way to protect from ticks is to spray yourself. Ticks hate cedar, so try to find a product that uses cedar oil.
Ticks also like moisture so if you wait to irrigate and water seldom, the better off you will be. Established shrubs and trees (places ticks love to hang out) do not need watering, and your lawn really only needs one good long drink per week in the event of no rainfall.
Photo by Jared Belson
Clean Air Lawn Care
A Company on a PRFCT Mission:
The Clean Air Lawn Care franchise was created out of a desire to change the negative impacts of lawn care on the environment. They use solar powered equipment, adhere to many PRFCT principles and have become allies in
promoting toxic-free lawns for the health of people, pets and the planet.
Interview with Clean Air Lawn Care CEO Kelly Giard
Q: You weren’t always in the landscape industry, what drew you in that direction?
A: Our original mission was to become a disruptive business model that lead the way in driving down the 10-12% of the nation’s air pollution from lawn care to close to 0%. That challenge is what drew me and still does. We have since broadened out to adopting the same mission with regard to eliminating chemicals from lawn care with organic practices.
Q: At PRFCT, we feel that organic is the future of the landscape industry. How did you come to identify that gap in the landscaping world?
A: After doing 3-4 years of solar powered mowing we saw that there wasn’t a national leader in authentic organic lawn care. It was a leadership gap we felt we could establish and build our brand around. Customers are starving for an effective organic service once they understand it’s an option.
Q: How do you accredit and educate the landscapers that join the franchise?
A: Most of our new owners don’t have a landscaping background. They are typically green entrepreneurs with a white-collar background. We primarily vet their authentic commitment to our principles and practices. From there we do an extensive week long training at our HQ followed by a 1-2 day on site training. Longer term, we constantly organize and encourage the collective knowledge of our owner group to develop best practices for delivering the best organic lawn care we can for our customers nationally. We believe that a combination of science and field learning lead to the best results. This year we are starting a program where after 2 years of doing organic lawn care, our owners can fly back to our HQ and work with our team and scientist from their locale to develop a fertilizer we will manufacturer that is optimal for their community’s soils and climate.
Q: What do you feel is the biggest challenge in getting homeowners to embrace and adopt organic lawn and landscape services?A: Awareness. Once the customer understands it’s an option, they want it.
Q: Any other inspiration you’d like to share for founding Clean Air Lawn Care?
A: Our owner group inspires me every day. We have exceptional people that own our locations. They are the ones that make the magic happen.
Q: Where do you see the company in terms of growth, demand and supply in 5 years?
A: We added 17 new territories in 2017 and we are targeting 25 for 2018. Our business is accelerating and I expect that to continue over the next 5 years. The customer is waking up.