Lisa's Landscape & Design

Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time

Just Say No! (to chemicals)

Question what you do, is it the best solution for the planet, or just the only option “YOU” know of??

On a topic of particular frustration for me is the complaisant behavior of those who know better. Yes, I am talking to you ;-0. You know you should ask for organic, you know you aren’t happy with the selection of plants at a nursery and instead of speaking up, you choose an alternative, or go elsewhere, assuming one person cannot make a difference.

I am here to tell you the words of even one customer does make a difference. I have requested, suggested, complained, moaned and threatened many a company into submission. I would like to believe I have played a huge part in the availability of organic products at my local Lowes and Wal-Mart. Now, it is a lot trickier to coerce a large company than a small business, but I buy thousands of dollars of landscaping materials a year and let the managers know that I would take my business elsewhere if they didn’t change their ways and I contacted corporate and expressed my concerns about doing business with such an environmentally irresponsible company and before you know it, there is change. You can do the same as a homeowner who buys all of their lawn tools, mowers, weed line, soil, etc….That adds up fast to a bottom line.

You can do this in small ways too. Speak to your local stores, (even some HEB’s are carrying organics now), tell the places you do business that you will have no choice but to go elsewhere because you wont buy the poisons they sell or buy plants that aren’t native and encourage your friends, coworkers and family to do the same. Before you know it you are no longer one voice, you are a movement. I have seen the success for myself and I know you can make a difference too. Then do what you say, if you threaten not to come back, don’t go back unless they change their ways. Bring them a list of items you would like to see them carry, then buy them and support the businesses who support our planet and our movement. Most nurseries are more than happy to accommodate you and if they don’t, you probably don’t want to give them your money anyway.

Very important too, is that once the chemical companies realize you are hurting their income, they will start making products we will buy. Many have already come around. I have had the privilege of speaking with an employee of a major chemical company who assured me they are already feeling the impact. This is good news for us and our planet.

Be mindful when buying chemicals, know what you are supporting and what you are applying in your yard. Read the labels and be aware of the ramifications of over applying, misreading and improper storage of these harmful chemicals. I have two sons with Autism and while there are a lot of theories about the cause, it is really hard to believe all the chemicals in our food and water sources over the past 50 years have not been a contributor to many health issues and diseases.

Finally, while you are at the nursery or big box store buying your organics and native and adaptive plants, rain barrels and other earth friendly products, insist that the location has a recycling center for their pots and containers. Millions and millions of plastic containers end up in landfills each year and the only one who benefits from that are the companies who make the pots. If we reused the pots, I suppose they would go out of business and make a green solution you would buy !?! You can currently recycle your plastic pot and planters at Barton Springs Nursery on Bee Caves road where you will also find a great assortment of native and adaptive plants. More and more nurseries are carrying native and adapted plants which have less disease and pest issues because they belong here.

Let’s teach our kids how to make mountains out of grains of soil by making small changes that can have an enormous impact on our beautiful planet. You will be greatly rewarded by making a few small changes, there is an organic remedy for just about everything. Here are a couple links to help get you started…Organic Pest Control¬†¬†and Organic Disease control.


Happy Organic Gardening!!

Lisa LaPaso

Lisa’s Landscape & Design ( “like” me on Facebook!)

“Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”

Quote of the day: “Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are.”- Alfred Austin

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