Field of Flowers

Last Updated on September 19, 2015 by bvnadmin

[vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=””][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text css_animation=””]California…The Golden State… The scientific molecular formula for gold, Au2Cl6, and presently, the cost of one gram of gold is worth $39.09. But lately, Au2Cl6 isn’t the only precious commodity for this golden state.

That distinction goes to molecular formula H2O, better known as water. And currently, the price of water to a parched California landscape is worth much more than the price of gold.

With California’s ever increasing drought making headlines daily, cities, politicians, environmental groups, lobbyists and water agencies are stepping up efforts including funding thousands of dollars on educating the public on being water-wise. And as of recent, statewide and citywide legislation and mandates on water conservation has been issued throughout the state or violators face stiff fines for water waste.

This past week, a study published in Nature Climate Change reports that the snowpack in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains has fallen to its lowest level in at least the past 500 years. The Sierra Nevada snowpack replenishes close to 30% of the state’s water supply. And with California’s low rainfall totals, the drought continues to snowball into an epidemic.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css_animation=”” css=”.vc_custom_1442602107338{padding-top: 200px !important;padding-bottom: 200px !important;background-image: url(https://blackvoicenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/11226187_867523359969169_1520440002974607104_o.jpg?id=1711) !important;}”]
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=””][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text css_animation=””]Although the study’s findings affects the state, the hardest hit segment has become the agricultural industry and locally, home gardeners.

As local growers and the agricultural industry cope in this drought stricken climate, access to water and water agencies closely monitoring residents’ use has become one issue growers face; pesticide use during a drought, the other.

The runoff from pesticide use has become such an issue, one California task force has established a website applyresponsibly.org to educate California’s growers, gardeners, and communities on responsible use and disposal for pest control products.

Since 2008, the Pyrethroid Working Group – a pesticide industry alliance – has been promoting “Apply Responsibly” to educate Californians in urban areas about environmentally responsible ways to handle, store and dispose of a wide range of home and garden pesticide products, including insecticides containing pyrethroids (an ingredient found in many commonly used consumer home and garden pesticides).

Pyrethroids are used for treating problems with mosquitoes, ants, spiders, caterpillars, wasps, cockroaches, aphids, garden worms and many other insect infestations.

According to Apply Responsibly public information officer, Ashley Clark, she states that, “the problem is not with the pesticides themselves, but the use of them.” Apply Responsibly’s goal is to educate the public on, “the proper use and disposal of these products.”

Clark stressed that consumers need to read the label prior to use of pesticides and insecticides, as well as using these products as prescribed.

Pesticides although sold commercially, should be handled with care. “This will prevent over-use of pesticide products so they don’t seep down into the drainage system as run-off,” states Clark. “We want consumers to use these products responsibly, especially during the drought. Preventing over watering to keep plants healthy will also remove pesticides (if applied). Water conservation with the goal of reducing pesticide runoff will help prevent the possibility that these pesticides don’t end up in urban waterways,” she continued.

Apply Responsibly’s website http://www.applyresponsibly.org offers useful tips for home gardeners as well as best practices for maintaining a healthy garden. Through the website homeowners and gardeners can access easy in-depth information on the location and hours of nearby disposal facilities.  They can also access neighborhood collection programs and pre-requisites for disposal of unused products.

“When you put them (pesticides) in the trash, it’s unclear where it would go,” states Clark. But if you go to the Apply Responsibly website, there are helpful tools that informs consumers the closest waste facility near them. “With e-waste, paint and things of that nature to dispose, apply responsibly provides proper waste facilities,” Clark added.

However, the issue becomes individual responsibility, commitment, and awareness towards protecting the socio-ecological environment.

When asked the motivating factor for a gardener or consumer of pesticide products to visit the website in determining proper disposal sites for that product versus disposing of them in either the trash bin or recycling bin, Clark pointed out that the possibility for these products to, “leak through the container and/or leak through the bins” as a risk that should not be left to chance.

“Recyclable programs are not able to handle these types of products,” states Clark.

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Tips for Pyrethroid Use

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=””][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]• Always read the entire label first and follow the directions

• Reduce pest infestations by eliminating what often attracts them or creates ideal breeding conditions – standing water, pet droppings, tree prunings or fallen fruit

• Remove thatch buildup in lawns to ensure water soaks deeply into the lawn and prevents runoff

• Mix and use only the amount you need

• Avoid applying a spray or dust on a windy day

• Rinse all pesticide application equipment only over the treated area

• Always use dry sawdust or kitty litter to soak up a liquid spill and then sweep it into a plastic garbage bag for disposal; don’t use water to rinse or clean up a liquid spill

• Sweep or blow granules that fall on porches, driveways and sidewalks back onto the treated area

• When watering treated areas, don’t overwater and don’t allow water to runoff into gutters, in-lawn drains or storm drains

BVN Contributor: Lee Ragin, Jr.

Original Content Created in Partnership withApply Responsibly

Photos by: Patrick Edgett and Apply Responsibly[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]