Staying Healthy in the Yard & Garden

Yards and gardens generally are peaceful places where the family can spend an afternoon without having to go far for some down time and without having to worry too much about the kids’ safety or health.

Nevertheless, with everything in full bloom juxtaposing nicely with the blue sky above, it’s important to ask ourselves an intriguing question: Does something lurk under all that beauty and life that could affect us negatively?

The answer is ‘maybe’ and deciphering whether this is the case on your property depends on the home.

That’s because everyone makes different choices regarding how they tend their lawn, vegetables, flowers, or pests and some decisions can impact people’s lives more than others.

For instance, consider two main areas where certain practices can breed undesirable results down the road and how implementing various changes can impact life for the better around the homestead.

Some chemicals are used for good purposes, such as diatomaceous earth or boric acid. Then there are others, which may solve a problem but also may have troublesome environmental and health side effects.

For example, take pesticides. Most mainstream versions sold over the counter contain harsh chemicals which may kill pests but do far more damage:

  • They kill good bugs along with unwanted ones.
  • Fruits and vegetables being grown will no longer be considered organic.
  • They taint soil with poisons or contaminate aquifers as rainwater carries the poisons with it downstream and into the earth.
  • Human exposure to pesticides and consumption of produce sprayed with pesticides can lead to many types of illnesses.

That being the case, if you’re seeking ways to manage pests attacking your plants or simply hope to keep them away from the home try greener, less harmful methods.

Some suggestions include:

  • Companion planting.
  • The use of herbs, as insects don’t like them.
  • Making solutions from harmless ingredients such as eco-friendly dish soap, salt, and baking soda. Some of these substances may not be fit for human consumption but won’t affect people who are just around or touching them.

NOTE: Keep in mind many chemical-based herbicides (weed killers) fall into the same category as chemical pesticides and alternatives should be found for these, too.


Fuel usually is associated with vehicles such as cars, trucks, and buses. Nevertheless, a number of tools used in the yard also run on fuel. They include lawn mowers and weed whackers and are dangerous for some of the following reasons.

  • Exhaust: The fumes from these machines can be just as deadly as car exhaust, especially since they are generally filling the space where the operator is standing and breathing.
  • Pollution: Aside from the immediate health risks from breathing exhaust these machines add to already murky skies.
  • Noise Pollution: These machines cause a lot of noise and can be detrimental to hearing, especially if kids are nearby and exposed to the loud sounds of their motors.

The best way to deal with these issues is using manually operated versions of the same equipment. This may mean expending a little more muscle, but doing so will protect everyone from the kids to the family dog from fumes and oil/gasoline spills.
The bottom line: Yards and gardens should be friendly places where we don’t worry about the long term effects of their upkeep on our families. Making some changes towards greener practices can assure a safer experience for everyone.

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