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BUILD AWARENESS ABOUT ALTERNATIVES TO PESTICIDES IN YOUR COMMUNITY
There are lots of ways to raise awareness about the benefits of a pesticide-free Cambridge, and to encourage friends, family and community members to stop using toxic chemicals in and around their gardens and homes.
The application of pesticides in private homes is an often-overlooked aspect of urban pesticide use. A 2019 French study, for example, showed that 75% of members of the public surveyed had used at least one pesticide in their home within the previous 12 months. There are no comparable studies in the UK but if the speed within which insecticides and herbicides fly off the cleaning and gardening shelves of supermarkets across the country are anything to go by the expectation is that the figures are comparable.
How can you help to raise awareness about domestic pesticide use?
Advise those around you about safer and effective alternatives to synthetic pesticides, especially if they’ve got a problem with insects that they’re thinking of dousing with toxic chemicals to the detriment of the environment as well as their own family's health.
Remind people that when they spray or fumigate their homes they are not only poisoning their own living spaces but contributing to both local and global levels of toxic air pollution and related health problems.
Insecticide powders are particularly problematic in terms of wider ecological public health because there is no controlling where the powder ends up beyond the site of application.
Remind people about the long-lasting effects of synthetic pesticides which are designed to persist in the environment, especially when used indoors, for a very long time. See here for information on half-life fates of the active ingredients in some of the most commonly used pesticides.
Other people may be sensitive to the active ingredients and be made extremely ill on exposure, often long after the initial application. Children and those with chronic illnesses are particularly susceptible.
Remind people that insects are an essential part of our biodiverse world. Wasps and moths are just as important as pollinators as are bees. Spiders play a crucial role in indoor ecosystems too! It’s important to think carefully before killing insects, and even more carefully before you risk polluting the world around you for the sake of a few unwanted visitors.
Just because pesticides are sold in the cleaning products aisles of the local supermarket and bear labels that declare their safety, does not mean that they are non-toxic and can’t have dangerous health and environmental impacts. Pesticides ARE NOT cleaning products as discussed in our blog post here. For more discussion about the importance of wasps as pollinators see our other blog entry here.
Gardens should be places of biodiverse abundance where people can enjoy safe and unbridled access to nature. They should not be toxic laboratories. Pesticides have no place in gardens especially if there are children and pets around. Visiting birds and wild animals may also be poisoned. More discussion on our Integrated weed control page.
Download and share our "Alternatives to Synthetic Pesticides: A Guide for Schools, Businesses & Residents".
Sign and share our petition to get the City Council to stop spraying herbicides on verges and pavements, and to actively encourage residents and stakeholders to do the same.
Report irresponsible pesticide use that you see about town by getting in touch with us. See also our Reporting Page.
Join us at Pesticide-Free Cambridge! Please get in touch if you’d like to help us in any way with our efforts to make Cambridge a safer, healthier and more beautiful, pesticide-free city.
If you’re not in Cambridge, think about setting up your own campaign. You can find support and advice at PAN-UK’s Pesticide-Free Towns, where you can download an excellent Guide for Campaigners (towards the end of the page).
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