Weeds seem to grow anywhere and everywhere. When they turn up in our gardens, competing for nutrients in soil and filling all available gaps, it is tempting to seek an easy way of getting rid of them. But currently, only 2 products that might do that are listed in our Green Up Product Guide as being low impact. This may come as a bit of a surprise when there are so many weed killers on the market.
When trying to live sustainably, we want to reduce the incidence of harm caused by the products we use. And how difficult is this getting!!!
According to the Environmental Protection Agency in the USA, there are over 84,000 chemicals in overall commercial use with between 500 and 1000 added each year1. Many of these have some degree of toxicity for humans or the environment. We don’t have statistics on chemicals specifically for garden use.
At SGA, we want to minimise harmful effects. So, together with the Burnley College of Melbourne University, we developed a rating system for commercially available garden products so that we could differentiate between those which had low, medium or high undesirable impacts. This system is based on a number of criteria relating to the product’s effects on aquatic life, insects and other invertebrates, birds, pets and humans. Scores for each criterion are weighted and the combined results lead to an overall rating. There are a few differences in criteria used for products for control of weeds and pests or for fertilisers. Continue reading »