“The earth does not belong to humans;Chief Seattle
humans belong to the earth.”
Polls show that people across the political spectrum favour cosmetic pesticide bans.1 A cosmetic pesticide ban means protection from non-essential use of pesticides (including herbicides, fungicides and other biocides) on public and private lands. People understand that eliminating unnecessary use of toxic chemicals means better health and environmental protection for their families, pets, and green spaces.
Many cities across Canada already have banned the cosmetic use of pesticides on residential properties – in some cases, for over 20 years – but Edmonton has fallen behind. As we grapple with health and ecological crises, it’s more important than ever to eliminate unnecessary exposure to toxic chemicals.
Clear best practices exist to protect people and the environment from pesticides. A cosmetic pesticide ban is that best practice. Children must be safe walking to school and playing in neighbourhood yards and city parks. Bees and birds must be protected from further extinctions and biodiversity in general must be protected to prevent the collapse of ecological and food systems. People must be free to open their windows without worrying about toxic chemicals drifting from a sprayed lawn. A ban will leave people with safer, more effective tools for yard and park management and help keep us all healthy.
We call on the City of Edmonton to:
- Enact a bylaw to ban the cosmetic use of pesticides.
- Allow exemptions from the ban only for public health purposes.
- Provide proactive public education about the ban, informing city employees, councillors, and the public of the suspected link of several pesticides used for cosmetic purposes to cancer and other serious illnesses, the increased risk for children2, the toxicity of pesticides to pollinators and wildlife3, and the importance of biodiversity.
- Provide the public with a list of least toxic pesticide alternatives, including alternative lawn and garden management practices.
- Lead by example, decreasing mowing and planting hardy native species.
1 The most recent Alberta-wide poll on this issue was undertaken by the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment in 2016. That poll showed that 66% of Albertans agreed that “Pesticides used on lawns and gardens in my community pose a health threat to children.”
Join our campaign for an effective Cosmetic Pesticide Ban in Edmonton
Please send us an email using the form below. Within the message text, please let us know which Edmonton ward you live in. (Find your ward here)
———- Further Reading ———-
“As a beaver man, I’m watching all of these plants and animals, including the ones that more recently arrived here. I don’t carry the narrative that the western agricultural industrial complex is pushing, where those species that have recently become inhabitants here, at this location, are “invasive” or “noxious” (whatever the heck that is, it’s a very negative thing). I don’t use the war trope in my understanding of who they are. My own perspective is I’m looking to them as Elders, because maybe their species or kind has been around a lot, lot longer than us — maybe not right here, but you can still look at how they are fitting into the ecosystem.“
Blackfoot knowledge-keeper Ryan First Diver
First Diver, R. (2020, January 5). Of Nature and Legacy [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySxc-9VXPkU&t=2001s)