Sustainable Maintenance Protects Your Heart – and Los Angeles
January 2020. By Oscar Ortega: Whether you are caring for an authentic LA-style native garden or a more traditional one, sustainable maintenance practices are good for the heart. Yes, figuratively. It feels great to help save LA! Also literally: Maintaining gardens sustainably supports heart health.
By and large, working in the garden and just being in nature is good for the heart. However, common landscaping practices complicate that. EPA data connects emissions from gas mowers with increased risks for heart attacks and arrhythmia. Use of pesticides at work doubles the risk of heart-health issues, while herbicides are connected to ischemic heart disease. Complicating matters further, homeowners and unlicensed landscapers often unknowingly amplify risks.
We view these risks as entirely unnecessary. Here are 5 ways we protect the hearts of our team members and clients – and make our gardens safer, healthier, more magical place to be:
- People-Powered Tools: It’s unusual to see hand-pruners and brooms making their way through LA gardens. We love them! Not only do they keep the air we breathe clean, they lead to better, more beautiful gardens. For example, structural pruning with hand tools will lead to healthier hedges with growth that heads in the right direction. Sweeping can remove dirt and litter unmoved by blowers.
- Electric Equipment: Where power is necessary, we’ve opted for electric equipment. We find electric mowers and blowers to be every bit as effective as their gas-powered equivalents, yet they don’t leave us breathing their exhaust. There is a noticeable difference in how we feel at the end of a work day!
- Chemical-Free Management: We do not expose our team members to toxic chemical pesticides and insecticides. There is just no good reason to do so. Once a healthy environment is created, patience, beneficial insects, birds and wildlife will often do the work commonly assigned to chemicals.
- Muscles & Minds: We also avoid toxic herbicides, as we take the time to distinguish weeds from wildflowers and pull out undesired plants from the root. This builds more than our muscle, it builds our expertise and the respect our clients have for us.
Of course, we know these practices are unusual. It fills our hearts to know that we work for clients who value our health and our contribution to their own.
- ABC News, CBS News: California Considering a Statewide Ban on Gas-Powered Gardening Equipment
- Scientific American: How to Pick a Lawn Mower That’s Easy on Man – And Nature
- EPA: National Emissions from Lawn and Garden Equipment
- Mcclatchy Washington Bureau: Noisy Leaf Blowers Are Also Big Polluters and Possible Health Threats
- (OEHHA) California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment: Study Finds Long-Term Exposure to Ultrafine Particle Air Pollution Associated with Death from Heart Disease
- The Atlantic: Get Off My Lawn
- Fox News: How Green Is Your Lawn Mower?
- American Heart Association: Devices That Interfere with ICDs and Pacemakers