May 2018: For Mother Earth
Mother's Day! . . . is two days from today *GULP*. (Sorry Mom, I was mistaken what with life happening and all, and had gotten my dates confused . . . anyway, your card is now on its way.) But enough about me and my negligent treatment of the woman who only birthed and raised me. Let's talk about the mother we ALL know — the negligent treatment of whom affects not only the neglector, but literally all other beings inhabiting the same planet along with them — that mother being, naturally, Mother Earth. It's my passion to fertilize the blossoming paradigm shift growing upon us that recognizes natural and organic "alternatives" to synthetics as being the PRIMARY GO-TO'S that they are whenever external substances are needed. I focus on natural and energy medicine in my work with clients, but I also appreciate the health of our collective environment as falling beneath the umbrella of my focus. The environments in which we spend time — including not only the land that we live on, but also any manmade spaces that we create for ourselves — have a great impact on our physical healths as well as our emotional, mental, and spiritual healths. So as Spring proceeds and lawnwork in the U.S. accelerates along with it, I offer some input on common environmental negligences that you might just find in your own backyard. A few stats on U.S. lawns: each year, U.S. homeowners collectively apply over 3 million tons of synthetic lawn fertilizers, and 70 million pounds of pesticides and herbicides. To put this in even better perspective, the average U.S. lawn gets up to 10x as much chemical pesticide and herbicide use as commercial farmland. I repeat: the average U.S. lawn gets up to 10x more chemical pesticides and herbicides than commercially farmed wheat, corn, and soybean crops do. And, you've seen just what hullabaloo has been stirred up about the risks of the pesticides coating those crops! These chemicals not only pose serious hazards to children living in these homes — not to mention the residential pets and wildlife who live even closer to the land — but it’s estimated that 65% of these chemicals find their way into our lakes, rivers, and underground aquifers.
Speaking of water, 25-60% of residential water usage goes to watering lawns. With droughts in many areas, this is a substantial water burden. And irrigation damages the root systems of plants, anyway. Because most lawns are watered from above, they don’t grow a deep root system, which means that those droughts (and other environmental aggravators) affect them all the more adversely . . . which simply generates a vicious cycle of more watering being necessary to maintain those plants, in part because of the watering methods used on them in the first place. By the way, mowers and weedwackers generate more air pollution than do cars and trucks. In this post, I don't just aim to complain about the current state of things. I got the above stats from an article by Katie Wells, in which she offers much more information on remedying the aforementioned lawncare issues, and explains just how easy it is to do so. Her article can be found at: https://wellnessmama.com/123908/beautiful-lawn/?ck_subscriber_id=11051867 There, Wells provides information on how you can care for your lawn organically — including info on natural fertilizers and weed prevention, native grasses, and soil aeration. Wells also explains how taking up healthy lawncare practices actually requires less lawnwork. For example, most U.S. lawns are currently damaged by unnecessary work, including over-mowing and over-watering. And of course, once it's healthy, healthier grass (as with all organisms) just doesn't require as much maintenance in the long run, anyway. Transitioning to organic lawncare is one of the easiest health conscientious transitions that can be made. Do it for all of us — the Earth is more than just your mother! Those remedies that Wells provides, of course, are for those who do intend to maintain their lawns. My two cents: if you're going to do so, do it in a healthy way for all our sakes; but, remember (unless you're under the gun by an HOA) that to simply let the lawncare go entirely is another valid option! This isn't the set of the Brady Bunch. I know we all know by now that these environmental problems exist. We're living in a plethora of them. Sometimes, though, such appalling stats like those listed above can serve as just the metaphorical slap in the face needed to motivate some change (and if just one person stops using glyphosate in their yard after reading my newsletter, then I've helped make one baby step of progress). So, it's become common practice in the U.S. to value the aesthetics of an inefficiently manicured lawn over our children's ability to run about barefoot in actually healthy grass. Deep down, we already knew this. Needless to say, it's well past time that we question the values feeding some of the most common, everyday practices in this country — and not only cerebrally question those values, but actually take tangible action as we put new values into play within all the environments in which we exist. Let's thrive not just in our backyards and forests, but in our own bodies, too! Happy Mother's Day, Earth.
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