Tuesday, November 27, 2012

We've moved over to Facebook

Thanks for visiting Pesticide Free Edmonton. We are now using our Facebook page to post updates and information about our work to protect Edmonton's kids and adults from cosmetic pesticide use in our community. You can view our Facebook page even if you do not have a Facebook account of your own. Just go to www.facebook.com/pesticidefreeedmonton for the latest news. If you do have a Facebook account, we hope you'll "Like" our page on Facebook.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Great Step Forward

On September 7th a few Edmonton City Councillors formally requested an administrative inquiry into the feasibility of a pesticide bylaw. This is an encouraging step in the right direction. The report from city administrators is expected by the end of January 2011.

During the next few months we need to ensure that our voice is heard. One way you can help is to actively participate in this year’s municipal elections. Let candidates know that this issues is important to you. The Canadian Cancer Society is surveying all the electoral candidates in Edmonton to find out where they stand on implementing a pesticide bylaw. The results of this survey will be out during the first week of October on the Vote for Health website.

This website is also a great place to find tools that will help you engage candidates during the election season. You will find sample letters to send to candidates and sample questions to ask them whenever you get the opportunity. If you really want your voice to be heard, make sure to attend the scheduled public forum taking place in your ward.

Let us know how it goes!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Organic Golf Course Good Enough for Obama

While on his vacation this week, US President Barack Obama played a round of golf at the Vineyard Golf Club in Edgartown, MA. The Vineyard Golf Club is believed to be the only 100% organic golf course in the United States. Despite using only natural means of turf maintenance, the club manages to maintain elite status and attract pro golfers and celebrities alike.

Many in the golfing industry believe that synthetic pesticides are required to ensure pristine greens, but the Vineyard Golf Club is demonstrating how healthy greens can be maintained using alternative methods. They use comprehensive turf management practices including planting more disease resistant grass, using boiling water for weed control, and using microscopic worms to kill turf destroying grubs.

Golf clubs around North America are beginning to adopt more natural turf management practices and reduce the amount of chemicals they are spraying on their greens. You would be surprised to know that, yard for yard, many spray less chemicals than your neighbor! We can do our part by encouraging our local golf course owners to consider phasing-in more organic turf management practices. Talk to a manager at the courses where you golf to learn more about their turf management policies.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Navigating the Report Form

We've had some feedback that Health Canada's Voluntary Pesticide Incident Report Form is not very user friendly. If you have tried to file a report through this system, please let us know your experience with the process.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Reporting negative effects of pesticides

The Canadian government currently welcomes voluntary reports of negative human, animal or environmental effects due to contact with pesticides. These voluntary reports are added to a database used by the government to determine trends and make decisions about product registration. Reporting "incidences" is an important way to ensure that the government is making informed decisions. Please fill out a report form if you have an incident to report.

The Pesticide Incident Reporting Database is posted online and lists all voluntarily reported pesticide incidences. Manufacturer's are also required to report any incidences that they have been made aware of through customer complaints.

The government's incidence reporting program was implemented in April 2007. During the program's first two years, 1393 incidences have been reported in Canada. These include:

- 526 incidences involving domestic animals
- 217 incidences involving humans
- 47 incidences involving the environment
- 23 packaging failures
- 9 cases highlighting new information gained through scientific studies

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Know Your Rights

Few Edmontonians know that they have the right to petition to make the public spaces adjacent to their property herbicide-free. Currently, 21 communities in Edmonton have taken advantage of the City’s petition program to eliminate spraying in their parks. How about yours?

If you would like to lead this initiative in your community, the first step is to fill out the City’s petition application form (which also requires you to contact the program co-coordinator.) You can also take a look at a copy of the petition form itself. People who have already petitioned their local parks say that it is a simple process. You only need one signature per household and most people are happy to sign the petition.

Another option is to take advantage of the Medical Alert Pesticide Program (MAPP) or the Herbicide Exemption Request Program (HERP) which allow you to request spray-free buffer zones around your property. For more information, check out the City’s website.

Become informed and take action today!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Does the gulf oil spill make you think twice about your grass?

Many North Americans are contemplating their dependence on oil while following the news on the latest oil spill disaster. What many people do not know is that virtually all synthetic pesticides are derived from petroleum. Choosing not to spray your lawn this summer will help you reduce your oil consumption. That’s another good reason to be pesticide free!