I will never claim to be an environmental expert. In fact, it’s my wife who has had the most influence on me in this area. She grew up in a household where NOTHING was ever wasted. The things that couldn’t be recycled (like the styrofoam trays that meat comes on) were thoroughly washed and sent to the local preschool so they could have one more life as paint trays. So from the moment my wife and I got a place of our own, a recycling bin has held a prominent place in our home. (And somehow, over the years, it became my “job” to take it to the recycling center.)
After we had our children, I became more aware of how the small things we do have the potential to impact not only the environment, but my children as well. So my wife gave away all of our chemical cleaners and started using a vinegar/dishsoap mixture for everyday cleaning. And I began pulling our dandelions by hand (damp soil aids in getting the entire root) instead of spraying them because I knew our children would be playing outside and picking the “flowers.”
This year, I’ve decided that it’s time to extend my environmentally responsible/family-friendly efforts into my landscaping business. I do not think chemicals are all bad, because I know that used in a responsible way, these chemicals are supposed to be safe. And I also know that there are many “natural” remedies that are just as toxic as some man-made solutions.
But as far as I can tell, there are many unanswered questions in this area and much of the research being done does not give definitive answers. So until I see unchallenged proof that one way is better than another, I am choosing natural products and environmentally friendly practices for my family. And this year, I am offering that same conscientious care to my clients’ families as well.