Sustainable Maintenance Protects Your Lungs and Ours – Thank you!
October 2022. By Oscar Ortega: We are the only California Air Quality Board-recognized Zero Emissions Landscaper serving LA County. What does that mean for you? Whether you have a traditional garden or one full of ever-changing native foliage, we will help you breathe easier, deeper! In addition to saving water, money and time, our maintenance practices mean the air quality in and around your home will be much cleaner.
We all know breathing wildfire smoke has incredibly dangerous impacts, yet many common landscaping practices present similar health risks. National Institutes of Health data connects emissions from gas equipment with increased risks for respiratory problems, asthma attacks and even premature death. Use of pesticides has been shown to produce cough, wheeze, breathlessness, chest tightness, and chronic bronchitis. Fertilizers are similarly connected to asthma as well as lung cancer. Complicating matters further, homeowners and unlicensed landscapers often unknowingly amplify risks. Why risk it?
We view these risks as entirely unnecessary. Here are 5 ways we protect our lungs and yours:
- People-Powered Tools: It’s unusual to see hand-pruners and brooms making their way through LA gardens. We love them! They keep the air we breathe clean. They also lead to healthier foliage and lovlier gardens. For example, structural pruning with hand tools inspires growth that heads in the right direction. Sweeping can remove dirt and litter blower can’t address.
- 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. Their impact is felt at the end of a work day. If you still use gas-powered mowers, here are recommendations for replacements.
- Chemical-Free Management: We do not use chemical pesticides. These toxic chemicals don’t just pollute the water and soil – they adversely impact air quality in both gardens and homes. They are completely unnecessary! Patience, know-how and muscle keeps gardens in balance while protecting beneficial insects, birds and wildlife.
- 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, all-organic fertilizers what have none of the health down-sides of toxic chemical fertilizers.
- Muscle: It’s easy to avoid toxic insecticides too! We take the time to distinguish weeds from wildflowers and pull out undesired plants from the root.
- Fire Defenses: As we protect homes and gardens from wildfire, we also protect LA’s air quality.
- Clothed Truck Beds: The refuse and green waste we remove from gardens is transported in fully enclosed trucks – nothing escapes to dust your car or the air around you.
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 health. We love you all the more for it!
Sources and Resources
- Check AQMD.gov for $250 Mower Exchange Rebates
- National Institutes of Health Newsletter: Clean-Up Your Landscape Equipment
- 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?