Earth Day 2009
I hope everyone is having a lovely day for Earth Day. May everyone find some small way to honour Mother Earth by improving the environment.
The Ontario government has taken a big step by banning all cosmetic uses of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/en/news/2009/030401.php
Getting rid of unnecessary toxins in the environment is always good. Besides many of these products are oil based. We should be weaning ourselves off oil whenever possible.
It always shocked me to go to our local hospital and see little signs on the lawn that it had just been treated with pesticides. Why would a hospital think it was necessary to put poison into the environment just to have a weed free lawn. (Keep it cut short and we will not see the weeds!) These are the same people that toss smoking patients outside to smoke because they pollute the environment and are a hazard to others inside the hospital. Once I actually wrote a letter protesting both the hazard and the waste of money.
It is not as if there were no alternatives to dangerous chemicals. Besides, non toxic products still available we have known ways to controlling pests for years. I have a wonderful book, "Farm Weeds" published by the Department of Agriculture of Canada in 1909. It is a wonderful hard covered book with lovely drawing of weeds and very informative text describing the weeds, their life cycle and propagation method and how to control them. (before there were so many toxic chemicals available.) This book was available to farmer for $1.00. A real bargain for the amount of knowledge it contains on good farming practices for controlling weeds based on understanding the weeds and how they live and die. The knowledge here on week control is just as valid today as back then.
Hopefully, Ontarians can stop worrying about pets, children, pesticide drift into their vegetable garden and other ways we might contact potentially dangerous toxins. A great deal of these substances wash off the land and get into the rivers, lakes and groundwater, presenting a potential hazard in our precious drinking water.
It is too bad that golf courses are exempt. I think most people think a nice green space like a golf course in the urban area is an environmental plus. In fact, golf courses are environmental disasters. They certainly do not need to be exempted.
Farms and the forestry industry as well as health threatening infestations are also exempt. The farming industry in the last decade or so has become very aware of the dangers of the chemicals they use and farmers are now taught and certified on how to use them and dispose of the containers. An efficient farmer would use as little as possible of these chemicals as they are an added expense as well as a hazard to their family, land and water.
I see no indication of whether railroads and hydro rights of way will be covered. They have traditionally sprayed to keep down weeds and brush. Mechanical removal is the alternative to achieve the same end result.
Now if only the Ontario government will move up the dates to decommission the remaining coal fired generating stations. (4) Originally the date this was to be achieved was 2007, and then 2009 and now it is some indefinite date in the future, possibly 2014. Not very satisfactory!
My effort today will be modest. I shall go and pick up the trash along the mile frontage of my property. Already a neighbour said he picked up 24 beer bottles between his place and mine. I found 7 by the bridge over my river already. At east the bottles are worth something. Most of the trash has no value.
Have a nice Earth Day.