Find alternatives to pesticides

Jamison Guice, Campus Carrier Asst. Features Editor

In August, the lawsuit facing the major herbicide company, Roundup, wrapped up with a conclusion that the ingredient in the weed killer results in cancerous effects. Herbicide glyphosate was the ingredient that was responsible. It is also found in almost all commercial weed killers, not just Roundup.

It has been known that weed killer is not a friend to the environment so the news that it is an enemy to the body has encouraged me to embrace the old gardening practices that my parents love. Each generation of my family has contributed to the backed-up knowledge that now clogs our ‘gardening book’ at home.

One alternative for gardening is sprinkling coffee beans on the plants. The trick is to not put too many coffee beans or it can affect the growth of the plants. This will not keep every bug away, but it can act as a natural repellant and will still keep the veggies safe.

Another alternative is to make an oil spray. Mix a tablespoon of both vegetable oil and soap together in a spray bottle filled with water. Spraying it on your plants will decrease the bug population.

Watered-down essential oils can also deter the unwanted critters. Using the oils, however, can also kill helpful fungi. The light smell, lavender for example, can also provide for a nice scent when walking by.

Even isolating some plants in a small greenhouse can prevent certain bugs, or even animals, from pillaging. While this requires a bit more dedication, a garden is a place that deserves it. We have seen that shortcuts, such as weed killers, can have disastrous effects.

Using alternative methods for everyday activities can cut down on pollution and save on spending costs. While this may sound like a history lesson from middle school that vaguely resembles the lecture on the dust bowl, the dramatic soil degradation and misuse of commercial products have allowed the diminishment of land across the United States. The overuse of weed killer has caused the weeds to develop a resistance where eventually gardeners have to either use more (which is bad) or change to a different brand, which is probably owned by the same corporation. Instead, there are healthier, safer alternatives which can be imployed, to the benefit of the soil, and yourself.

Through outside-the-box thinking, applying different methods can inspire actions that lead to change. Even a small impact in your area is still an impact and can potentially contribute to.

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