DID YOU KNOW that noise is among the most pervasive pollutants today? Noise from gas-powered lawn mowers, leaf blowers and grass trimmers, to name a few, are among the audible litter that are routinely broadcast into the air.
Noise negatively affects human health and well-being. According to medical studies, problems related to noise include hearing loss, stress, high blood pressure, sleep loss, distraction and lost productivity, and a general reduction in the quality of life.
The World Health Organization recommends general daytime outdoor noise levels of 55 dBA or less, but 45 dBA to meet sleep criteria. Therefore, even a 65-decibel leaf blower would be much too loud to allow healthful sleep (which often takes place during daytime hours for night workers and others). Noise can impair sleep even when the sleeper is not awakened.
DID YOU KNOW that cats and dogs are much more susceptible than adult humans to health risks associated with synthetic fertilizers and pesticides? A study in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medicine Association published in the April 15, 2004 issue concluded that exposure to chemically treated lawns and gardens increases the risk of bladder cancer by four to seven times in certain breeds of dogs. Also, lawn and garden care product residues may be tracked into your home by family members and pets. Once pesticides are inside your home they can stay there for a long time, contaminating furniture, upholstery, carpets, even children’s toys. These pesticide residues last much longer indoors since there is no sunlight, wind, or rain to break them down or wash them away.
DID YOU KNOW that leaving grass clippings on the lawn can return about a quarter to a half of your lawn’s nitrogen needs? This is known as nutrient cycling or grasscyling, a form of recycling that helps keep yard waste out of landfills. Also, no matter what anyone tells you, grass clippings do not cause thatch. Lawn thatch is the dead grass between the green vegetation and the soil surface. Thatch can block water, air and nutrients from reaching the roots. Grass clippings are about 90 percent water, so they begin to decompose almost immediately after hitting the ground.
DID YOU KNOW that a gas-powered lawn mower running for an hour puts out about the same amount of smog-forming emissions as 40 new cars running for an hour? According to Statistics Canada, gas-powered lawn equipment releases about 80,000 tonnes of emissions in Canada every year, using 151 million litres of gas.
Pollution and greenhouse gas reduction efforts often focus primarily on cars, but in fact the small two-stroke gas engines found in lawnmowers, trimmers, leaf blowers and chainsaws are a significant source of greenhouse gas and smog-forming emissions. Environment Canada estimates that emissions from non-road sources such as lawn and garden equipment comprise twenty percent of all smog produced by mobile sources in Canada.
DID YOU KNOW that watering your lawn for 1 hour uses about 1,000 liters of water, which is equivalent to 5 dishwasher loads, 5 loads of laundry and 25 toilet flushes combined? BC residents use much more water than the Canadian average, currently about 330 liters of water per day. Our water use is also a lot higher than many other developed countries. Most of our water goes down the toilet and very little of it is used for drinking.