IMPACTS OF PESTICIDES
HELP OUR POLLINATORS
Pollinators are an important part of the agricultural and other ecosystems that should be protected from harm caused by pesticide use. Coexistence of farming with pollinators is key to the survival of a vibrant agricultural economy.
Our work is guided by the belief that pesticides should be regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a way that prevents harm to managed and native pollinators, by ensuring that pesticide labels effectively prevent poisonings, pesticide applicators are well-informed and trained in pest control methods that prevent pollinator poisoning incidents, and State Lead Agencies take full responsibility for their enforcement duties.
Unfortunately, through our work, we are seeing that the EPA is not a friend to pollinators, but rather prioritizes the interests of big agriculture and chemical companies who have the funding to support large lobbying efforts. Read more here. In order to protect pollinators and compete to have our voice heard, your financial support is essential. Help us to demand change by becoming a member or donating today.
Additionally, beyond a donation, there are steps you can take personally to help protect our pollinators:
ELIMINATE YOUR PESTICIDE USE
It’s important that everyone practice integrated pest management (IPM), which is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment. This information, in combination with available pest control methods, is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment. Learn more about IPM here. Additional information can be found here and at your local extension office.
By using chemical interventions last, rather than first, we have an opportunity to allow pollinators to thrive. Assuming you have exhausted all other strategies of IPM and you need to use a pesticide application, be sure to read the label before using and follow the instructions. The label is the law with regard to chemical treatments and it’s important everyone follow it closely.
PLANT FOR POLLINATORS
Native pollinators evolved along with native plants, relying on them for food, shelter, and as a place to reproduce. In order for pollinators to thrive they need access to native plants. By doing research specific to your area, you can determine that native plants are most essential to pollinators and grow those plants in your own garden. Learn more about pollinator conservation specific your region, including plant lists and habitat instillation here.
When making your plant selections, it’s also important to consider the forage season for each plant— by planting natives that have different blooming seasons, you will provide pollinators with food and resources throughout the year, not just for a single season. To create a pollinator friendly garden, be sure to plant in clusters to provide shelter, maintain a water source, and give some soil access for ground nesting pollinators by leaving some of your soil exposed.
BUY ORGANIC AND LOCAL FOODS
When you can, it’s important to buy USDA Certified Organic foods. Free from the use of toxic pesticides, organic foods are not only good for our health, but they are also good for the health of pollinators. Local food purveyors are more likely to use pollinator friendly practices than large food companies— such as growing a variety of plants versus mono-cropping or practicing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) versus crop dusting. By supporting these local food makers, you’re reducing the transportation footprint, enhancing the local economy, and also supporting pollinators. Choose to support your local beekeepers. Also reduce your meat consumption, purchasing ethically raised meat as factory farming is toxic to the natural environment.
Legislation and regulations are constantly being created at local, state, and national levels with regard to pesticide use and pollinator protections, and some of those laws can override laws of a lower level. Stay informed on all the issues by setting up your own e-mail alerts on these topics. By taking the time to contact your representatives and letting them know this issue is important to you and voting for legislators who prioritize pollinator health, we can make positive change for pollinators. Additionally, you can sign up for our email list, which will help you to stay informed on all the issues that affect pollinators.