Eco Friendly Home Maintenance

Published on March 20th, 2012 | by Vivian Nelson Melle


Move Bee-yond Pesticides

Beyond Pesticides is an organization that not only highlights the dangers of chemical pesticides but offers non-toxic solutions.  Formally known as the National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides, Beyond Pesticides has been around since 1981 educating the public on how pesticides impact our lives and the environment. On March 30-31 they will be holding the 30th National Pesticide Forum entitled Healthy Communities: Green solutions for safe environments at Yale University.

Not to worry if you can’t get out to New Haven that weekend, here are a few things you can do to decrease your pesticide use.

bee on a vibrant flower

Bee on a vibrant flower

How Do Pesticides Impact the Environment?

One of the main dangers of pesticides is how they move way beyond their targeted area. It’s the equivalent of an entire family taking a prescription medication prescribed to one. That person may get well while other members may succumb to side effects and other detrimental effects because the medication is serving no purpose but to throw their system off balance. Pesticides are known for killing off more than just the targeted pests and have even been linked to decreasing honeybee populations. Once introduced into the environment pesticides are found in the soil, water, air and all living things.

{cc photo courtesy of MightyBoyBrian on Flickr}

antibacterial soap

Antibacterial dish soap

Throw Out Triclosan and other Antibacterial Soaps

Antibacterial cleansers are quite the norm with corporations feeding the public a steady diet of fear of disease and illness. Check your labels for the ever-popular Triclosan but be warned it’s in more than just soap. This antibacterial ingredient is even found in toothpaste. Triclosan, like other pesticides, finds its way out of the home traveling across the earth into aquatic ecosystems where it can cause problems for plants and organisms. In humans it can cause resistant bacteria growth. While the FDA promotes its relative safety, it recently acknowledged a need for further investigation. In the mean time, read ingredient lists and choose products made natural ingredients. Many natural products make use of Tea Tree and other plant-based antibacterial elements for microbial pesticide control.

{cc photo courtesy of Jack Black’s Stunt Double on Flickr}

a pesticide-free yard

A pesticide-free yard

Pesticide-Free Yards and Gardens

Just as in the home, pesticides made for the yard and garden will travel to local waterways and continue on to the ocean leaving environmental turmoil in their wake. Instead of store-bought pesticides you can easily mix up a batch to deter common pests. Garden Web is a great place to find natural pesticides for home and garden.  Most of the recipes are made with ingredients found in the average pantry including vinegar, garlic and chili peppers. It’s become an important enough issue that pesticide-free parks are popping up all over the world.

{cc photo courtesy of Transguyjay on Flickr}

bat house

Inviting bat house

Help Out Nature’s Pest Controllers

Another great way to deal with pests naturally is through promoting stable environments for their natural enemies. If mosquitoes have you scratching away summer memories, make and hang a bat house. Bats can eat upwards of more than 4,000 mosquitoes an evening. If bats leave you squeamish than maybe now is the perfect time for backyard chickens. These girls will not only clean up on mosquitoes but enjoy devouring fleas, ticks and other annoying pests. Most pests have natural enemies so doing a little research will show how to support the natural foes of your pesky pests.

{cc photo courtesy of Flatbush Gardener on Flickr}

For more information visit Beyond Pesticides.

Do you use pesticides? Have you tried decreasing your dependence on them because of environmental implications?


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About the Author

Vivian Nelson Melle is a writer and life coach helping individuals, families, and businesses thrive. She supports small businesses especially in the areas of Green Living, Health, and Wellness. She can be found at and

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