Ever asked a neighbour to stop spraying pesticides where children play or near your organic vegetable garden? How'd that go over?
I recently had to field this question from a concerned mom:
"I really like my neighbours. They're fantastic people and we get along wonderfully. They don't seem to mind my kids spying through the fence, riding their bikes over the lawn, or retrieving odd items from their backyard.
But in a conversation the other evening, they mentioned an ant problem. They'd sprayed their entire yard, walkways, fence line, and foundation of the house with insecticide.
My neighbour must have read the look on my face, because she said, 'Oh, but we did it on the weekend when you were away, so don't worry about the kids!'
I was mortified. All I could think of was my kids playing outside the last two days, including up alongside their house. It had also rained the night before. Who knows how much had washed into the river beside our property? I wanted to say 'You're poisoning my kids!"
Given that these harmful chemicals are still for sale in many provinces like British Columbia and Alberta (but banned in Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia) how would you start this conversation with your neighbour?
I suggested she put up a pesticide-free lawn sign (pretty simple and non-confrontational). Most local Canadian Cancer Society chapters distribute them for free.
How have you started the conversation with your neighbours about the pesticides they use?
P.S. Post a suggestion or story below and 10 people will receive a Pesticide Free lawn sign courtesy of the Canadian Cancer Society!
Lindsay Coulter, Queen of Green