We’re Good for Your Lungs

Sustainable Maintenance Protects Your Lungs and Ours – Thank you!

Updated October 2023. By Oscar OrtegaWe are the only California Air Quality Board-recognized Zero Emissions Landscaper serving LA County, and we were the only landscaper industry Clean Air Day participant. Talk about frightening!

We want all our landscape industry colleagues and homeowners who DIY to share in freedom we have from the scary impacts of standard landscaping practices. Here’s what that looks like.

Many common landscaping practices present similar health risks to the dangerous impacts of breathing wildfire smoke. 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.

Homeowners and landscapers without this needed understanding or electric equipment often unknowingly amplify risks to their health.This is like walking into a dark home in a horror movie! Don’t do it! Here are 5 ways we protect our lungs – and hope you protect yours too:

  1. 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 lovelier 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.
  2. 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, and we breathe much better after a day of operating them.
  3. 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.
  4. Chemical-Free Management: We do not use chemical pesticides. These toxic chemicals off-gas toxins into the air around them – and they are entirely unnecessary. We keep gardens in balance with patience, beneficial insects, birds and wildlife.
  5. Mulch: We are obsessed with organic wood-chip mulch! It builds soil health and hydration – and emits none of the toxins imposed by chemical fertilizers.

We know we couldn’t be this good to ourselves or LA without the understanding and support of our wonderful clients. On behalf of the FormLA Maintenance Team, to all our clients, thank you for making choices that protect our health. We love you all the more for it!


Sources and Resources