Earth Community Advocate & Researcher
"When we forget that we are embedded in the natural world, we also forget that what we do to our surroundings we are doing to ourselves." David Suzuki, 1997
"...We need to understand how the human community and the living forms of Earth might now become a life-giving presence to each other." Thomas Berry,1999
Community means the whole
community of life including humans,and the biosphere--soil, air, the
water cycle-- in which all life is inter-related and upon which all
life depends. See the Earth
EXPLORING STEWARDSHIP AND WASTE REDUCTION
This section portrays relationships between the Christian season of Advent and the spirituality of Earth care and waste reduction.
Display #1: Scripture, Covenant and Stewardship
Display #2: Facts About Recycling and Waste
Display #3: Tips and Thoughts for Reducing Waste
CONCERN ABOUT PESTICIDES
My study of independent research and literature on pesticides convinces me that their wide use endangers Earth Community now and for the future, and that we must use our creativity and love of life on Earth to develop alternative, non-toxic management solutions for school pest management, landscaping, home pest management, agriculture, and long-term management of electric, highway and railroad infrastructures. Pesticides are associated with human health issues such as asthma, autism, birth defects, cancers, immune system disorders, learning disabilities, skin problems, respiratory disease, and thyroid problems. We are poisoning our own nest, and there is no where else we can live.
Pesticides include chemical agents such as herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, rodenticides and other chemicals designed to kill or control living organisms considered to be "pests". "Biocides" may be a more accurate term to describe these substances because it reflects the fact that such chemicals harm life-forms other than the targeted "pest". (Greek, bios = life; Latin, caedere = to kill.)
ISSUES TO UNDERSTAND
Inert or Unidentified Ingredients
Health Effects in Humans
Problems with Pesticide Registration
ELECTRIC SUBSTATIONS AND HERBICIDES: problem statement
Herbicides are used yearly for weed control at most electric substations in Vermont (and elsewhere) without permits or notification. Substations are located near human habitation, businesses, recreation areas, in wetlands and near streams. They are built on loose stone with underground drainage which enables herbicide-contaminated water to enter waters of the state, posing risks to aquatic life and groundwater. Community water supplies may be contaminated. Citizens may be exposed to toxic herbicide drift in air. Utilities are externalizing, or making us and future generations pay for costs such as contaminated water and our exposure to toxins. Substations should be planned and built as enclosed structures so that toxins are not needed for long-term maintenance.
Presentation to Vermont Pesticide Advisory Council, 20 April 2011
Notes accompanying the presentation (you will need these to understand the Presentation.)
for regulation of herbicides at substations on private property
Electric Substations, Herbicides & the Community
a report to Public Service Board, Department of Public Service, Agency
of Natural Resources, and Vermont Pesticide Advisory Council, November
1) Email the Department of Environmental Conservation (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Agency of Agriculture (email@example.com) to urge regulation of herbicide use at existing electric infrastructures.
2) Email the
Department of Public Service (firstname.lastname@example.org) to urge
design and planning of new structures that protect natural resources
and can be managed without use of toxins.
COMPOST AND HERBICIDES: problem statement
Herbicides have recently been developed to be so persistent that they remain active in livestock feed, in manure after an animal has eaten treated feed or grass, and in grass clippings for a year or more after application. While some pesticide labels contain some warnings about their persistence and dangers, these herbicides are entering livestock feed sold to unsuspecting customers, entering manure brought to community compost, then damaging gardens and killing plants far from point of use. Picloram and clopyralid have contaminated Chittenden Solid Waste District's Green Mountain Compost (Williston, VT) at trace amounts and damaged gardens in summer of 2012. Other persistent herbicides are aminopyralid and aminocyclopyrachlor.
Herbicide contamination in compost is a severe blow to our community efforts in reusing organic materials to promote healthy food production, especially at a time of economic stress for many. CSWD is working proactively to solve their part of the problem.
This situation demonstrates the deep interconnectedness of our economy (based on Greek word oikos for household), the need for government to enact stricter regulation and oversight of pesticides, and the need for all of us to take extreme care in the use of toxic substances.
Why does EPA register such persistent herbicides without considering their persistence in products and animal manure and their effects on food systems "downstream" from the use?
PERSISTENT HERBICIDES and
A) Email EPA Pesticide Program Chief Dan Kenny (email@example.com). Tell him we cannot allow persistent herbicides to despoil our community compost while their manufacturers take no responsibility for the damage they do. Urge him to:
1) require that any herbicides submitted for registration be subjected to independent tests for persistence in manure and compost before registration;
2) require stricter, clearer labelling of picloram, aminopyralid, clopyralid, and aminocyclopyrachlor, indicating on first page of product label that any treated vegetation and affected manure must NOT be moved or sold off-site.
B) Copy your messages to your US Senators through their websites.
Green Mountain Compost Updates on Herbicides in
to read about enabling herbicide breakdown, compensation for damage, and other news.