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It’s Not Too Late: Go Pesticide Free!

Since last spring, little green hexagonal signs have been blooming in Salt Lake City gardens. These Pesticide Free Yard signs are part of the Salt Lake City Pesticide Free Campaign in partnership with Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF). HBBF encourages residents to protect our families and the environment by eliminating pesticide use.

Salt Lake City’s Sustainability Department teamed up with Beyond Pesticides to guide residents who want to keep their gardens beautiful without using harmful chemicals. And it’s working! Since 2018, over 340 individuals have pledged to go pesticide free.

And even though summer is coming to a close, you can still go pesticide free in your yard. Eliminating your use of toxic chemicals is a year-round challenge that will protect your family and neighborhood.

Why Go Pesticide Free?

Pesticides are toxic chemical pest controls including herbicides, fungicides, rodenticides, and insecticides. Pesticides pose numerous health risks including increased risk of diseases like Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s, as well as increased chronic illnesses.

Additionally, pesticides threaten the health of our environment. Many pesticides are associated with bee colony collapse, and put other key pollinators in danger.

SLCgreen Pesticide Free Yard sign.

Pesticide Free Resources

With this campaign, SLCgreen has been gathering resources to help everyone go pesticide free. The top 10 tips for eliminating pesticides include improving soil health to reduce weeds, using natural fertilizers like grass clippings, aerating your lawn, and making your gardens more water wise with low-water and native plants.

There are plenty of other resources to help you protect your health, take care of your yard, and go pesticide free.

Protect Your Health:

  • Reduce Intake from Food: When you choose organic produce rather than the alternative, you help protect yourself and farmers from exposure to toxic chemicals. If you can’t always shop for organic food, be sure to wash them thoroughly – especially the Dirty Dozen!
  • Garden without pesticides: Gardening is actually a wonderful activity for your physical and mental health. If you take the pesticides out of the equation, gardening can be a great activity for low-impact exercise.

Take Care of Your Garden:

  • Organic lawn and soil care: Everything from pH levels to lawn mower height can affect the health of the ecosystem in your yard. But by keeping your yard healthy, you can avoid the need for harmful pesticides.
  • $1 per bucket of compost at the Salt Lake County Landfill: By adding compost to your soil, you can bring key nutrients into the ecosystem and even help eliminate weeds. Right now you can bring your own 5-gallon bucket to the Salt Lake County Landfill for just $1.
  • Remove weeds without pesticides: Remember, the best way to get rid of weeds is to pull them up by hand. Be sure to get the whole root before the weed has gone to seed. The best time to weed is after a rainstorm when the soil is still damp.

Pesticide Alternatives

You don’t have to rely on your own hands. There are several organic options to get rid of weeds and pests in your yard without the harmful chemicals. The SLCgreen blog offers several helpful alternatives, and even has a list of homemade organic pesticides that you can use when you need to.

Pesticide Free SLC

Your neighbors aren’t the only ones making strides to go pesticide free. Salt Lake City Parks & Public lands is moving towards organic land care methods in numerous sites. The City already uses Integrated Pest Management methods in most of its parks. But following the Pesticide Free Campaign’s goals, Parks & Public lands are piloting organic land care methods at several parks.

Take the Pledge!

We all have the power to go pesticide free. Help SLC be healthier for everyone from your children to the butterflies and bees by taking the Pesticide Free pledge. We even have a few green Pesticide Free Yard Signs left!

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