To the editor;
Each year at this time, I am reeling with excitement for spring: chirping birds, fresh air, warm sunshine, bees, beautiful blossoms and the anticipation of all the Earth provides for us — including dandelions.
In my mind, dandelions are the first sign of spring. They are the first flower most of us proudly picked and brought to our mothers, grandmothers and teachers.
What is it, then, of which we are so fearful?
What is it that makes the general population spray senselessly each year and combat with poisons?
The dandelion means no harm, nor do other common lawn weeds.
Thirty years ago, we visited a veterinarian with our first pup. He asked if we sprayed for weeds and he told us weed killers possessed poisons that would affect the health of our pet.
Likewise, they affect the health of people.
We made a conscious choice from then on to never use poisons on our yard.
Others in our midst continue to needlessly spray for weeds and even ignore warnings to stay off the sprayed lawns, despite the signs they must now post on their yards, warning to keep children, pets and family members from treading on these areas.
There is a reason spray companies are now forced to post these signs. Quite simply, the sprays are not safe.
You may think I am needlessly worrying, but I wrote to the Canadian Cancer Society last year, asking why it doesn’t better educate the public of these dangers.
The society replied, acknowledging sprays are dangerous:
“. . . the Canadian Cancer Society BC & Yukon believes that lawn and garden pesticides are unnecessary and that their use should be prohibited. We also believe that provincial legislation should prohibit the use and sale of lawn and garden pesticides, rather than permit them to be applied by licensed applicators.”
Far too many family, friends and neighbours are succumbing to cancer.
We continue to ask each other why.
While we may not know specifically why, we do know lawn sprays contribute to the situation.
Often, when confronted with the diagnosis or the death of a friend or family member due to cancer, we wish there was just one small thing we could have done that might have made a difference.
Look yourself squarely in the mirror and ask, “Is it worth it to have the perfect lawn?”
Vanity comes with a price.