You are proud of your new pesticide-free lifestyle. But the fact that your neighbours and friends still use them disturbs you. This fact sheet will help you talk to others about your thoughts and concerns regarding pesticide application.
You don’t need to be a pesticide expert to get your message across. Engaging in discussion about pesticides and pesticide alternatives is the first step in ensuring the health of our environment, our children, and ourselves.
Start by speaking with your immediate neighbours or someone you sense will be open to new ideas. Keep it simple; discuss issues directly related to you, such as organic lawn care. Explain to your friend or neighbour why you chose to go green. When discussing various pesticide issues, keep your comments general. Try our children’s safety, or the cleanliness of our groundwater. Above everything else, remain positive and encouraging. Offer assistance including advice, resources, and labour to get your neighbours started.
4 Tips To Getting Your Message Heard:
You may find that some of your neighbours and friends lack concern and awareness about pesticides and their alternatives. Some may even become angry and defensive at the mere suggestion of changing their routine. Many people just don’t know how dangerous and unnecessary pesticide application truly is. Try using these motivational tips to avoid any potential conflicts that may arise when discussing pesticide use:
Common Interests and Concerns Go a Long Way:
Think of what interests and concerns you may share with your friends and neighbours. Maybe you both own pets, or you enjoy growing fresh herbs and vegetables. When discussing similar concerns, relationships become more productive and can lead to action.
Know Your Pesticides:
Use straightforward reasoning; ground your arguments in common sense. Increase your knowledge of pesticides and their harmful effects on our health and the environment. By gathering information on pesticides you will be able to focus on the central issue as to whether or not pesticides are necessary. There are numerous resources for you to obtain this knowledge. The library carries books that outline various pesticide issues. Be careful when using the Internet, however. Quite often the information provided on the net is inadequately sourced. When searching on the web, keep to government and environmental organizations. Magazines may also have some relevant information. Knowing the current pesticide issues at hand will allow you to answer questions and refer others to relevant, and current concerns.
Anger Will Get you No Where:
Pesticide application upsets many people, maybe even you. Channel your anger into something more positive and productive. Shouting at those who use pesticides will only alienate them. Ultimately, your goal is to have people agree with you; arguing won’t change their minds or attitudes towards any type of chemical application.
Make a Pesticide-Free Team:
Over 80% of Ontario residents believe that pesticides should not be used cosmetically. By joining forces with others and sharing thoughts you will enlarge the number of people you reach. Recruiting people to share your cause is crucial in achieving a healthy, clean environment.
The Government Is Listening:
Recently the Canadian Supreme Court has ruled that municipalities have the right to pass by-laws concerning pesticide applications. Cities such as Toronto, Vancouver, Waterloo, and countless others, have already passed such by-laws. Municipalities are obviously listening. Take advantage of this new movement. Join your community, contact your municipality representative and express your feelings towards chemical application. It is possible to see action! London is listening.
The City of London has a complete plan for community Plant Health Care and Integrated Pest Management. See what the City of London is doing. Visit their website at www.lawncare.london.ca.