Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Simple Suggestion #15... Avoid using pesticides and herbicides

Hey, Farmer Farmer, put away that DDT now. Give me spots on my apples, but leave me the birds and the bees, please!
Joni Mitchell, The Big Yellow Taxi
There aren't many bees around yet this spring. It makes me feel anxious when I see all those empty poppies in my back yard. The first summer we lived here, I remember being totally enthralled with the steady hum in the pear tree and the poppy patch. There were all sorts of different bees, different shapes and sizes. My favourite were tiny black and yellow striped characters with little brown spots on their back ends. It's early yet, but every year there seem to be a smaller bee population, a few fewer varieties, and that's not good news. Bees are critically important!

So today's suggestion is one I urge everyone to turn into action. Chemical pesticides and herbicides might save us from a few weeds and pesky insects, but we have to remember that those plants and critters are part of the food chain. Using chemicals doesn't just bite the dandelions and the bugs... it comes back to bite us all in the end, because living things are interconnected in ways human beings -- with our limited ideas of The Big Picture -- often don't realize until it's too late.

Don't like weeds? Dig them up instead of using chemicals that make bees, birds, and most living things sick. Don't like bugs? Squish the odd one that bothers you rather than spraying poison around. Or try to live by the Hippocratic oath and do no harm. The birds, bees and the rest of the planet will all thank you.

P.S. Looking for more Simple Suggestions? Try here.

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