Sustainable Maintenance Protects Your Heart and Ours – Thank you!
January 27, 2020. By Oscar Ortega: Whether you have 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 our hearts and yours – and make your garden a 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. There is a noticeable difference in how we feel at the end of a work day.
- Chemical-Free Management: Once a healthy environment is created, patience, beneficial insects, birds and wildlife will often do the work commonly assigned to toxic chemical pesticides and insecticides.
- Mulch: We are obsessed with organic wood-chip mulch! Not only does it help soil hold its hydration and keep roots cool, it builds soil health as it does so. Where soil still needs a boost, as in rose and citrus gardens, we use all-organic fertilizers what have none of the health down-sides of their chemical counterparts.
- Muscle: We take the time to distinguish weeds from wildflowers and pull out undesired plants from the root.
We know we couldn’t be this good to ourselves or LA without your help. On behalf of the FormLA Maintenance Team, thank you for making choices that protect our hearts. We love you all the more for it!
- 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