Because This is My Lifestyle

Posted on Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Because of the trend occurring and the age that we live in, there is a growing theme among businesses and consumers alike. Go green! Be eco-friendly. Buy organics. Let’s offer bamboo products and corn-based cutlery at our places of business. While the trend is catching on, and, albeit, some people really do connect to the movement, I have to ask myself, are these businesses and consumers simply tapping into a market, or is it a lifestyle? Is this a serious commitment to change and to begin working toward a more sustainable future?

So, judge lest I. Yes, I am the first to admit that our family has not completely banned all one-time use products. Not all of the goods in our home are sustainably produced or farmed nor are the bathroom products we use entirely aerosol free. No, our family has not perfected the mission, but we are committed to the cause. We feel it is important, however, to understand the goal and to take the necessary steps to achieve this.

Nearly a decade ago, while working with an amazing woman at a perennial nursery operation in North Atlanta, Joy enlightened me to the benefits of organics and of a sustainable lifestyle. I began purchasing food from a CSA. I developed a natural and organically grown veggie garden on-site where we began using integrated pest management to minimize our impact with pesticides and other synthetics. I bought bugs! They arrived in a cooler! This was a whole different way than school taught horticulture. I was hooked and this became my lifestyle!

Years later, when my child was born, right then and there, I committed that there would be no more synthetic pesticides used in and around our home. The detriment and perils that these products can potentially cause to humans and pets speak loudly enough to me to vow that they not be allowed in our home. Thanks to Greenhouse Pest Management, there is a mainstream company in our locale who is wholly committed to natural pest control. During the first service visit, we were rid of a pesky two year ant nest that a conventional service provider could repeatedly not manage. I was thrilled with the tactics employed through natural pest control and continue to be pleased season after season with the natural control in our home. This is our lifestyle.

Over the years of landscaping conventionally, I’ve worked to urge co-workers and employers to consider the benefits of natural and sustainable landscaping. By this I mean to minimize pesticides and synthetic fertilizers and herbicides in landscapes and also to be conscious of the need for water conservation and minimal impact on our properties. Time and again, I plainly see that the largest resistance I have gotten when trying to implement my suggestions lies largely in the lack of knowledge in those who I’m trying to reach. Many others tune it out as they believe that the monetary costs outweigh the
benefits of even trying. This is an uphill challenge in our industry, however in other arenas, it is being embraced as a new line of business.

First hand I have experienced the decline of landscapes due to improperfertilization, pest management, and water usage ranging from being too much to being sorely insufficient. I believe in the benefits of natural and organic fertilizers. I believe in the transformation to having a healthy eco-system which invites wildlife, beneficial insects and organisms through proper integrated pest management. I believe that it is OK to have some weeds in lawns or in gardens sometimes and I recognize that as the soil tilth grows stronger the sod will choke out the competition. I believe that our communities can and must become more water-conscious and that landscapes can, more or less, be “trained” to become drought tolerant. I believe that knowledge is power and the more that people learn about the benefits and advantages of living more sustainably that the answer will come more simply.

Because this is my lifestyle.