(Beyond Pesticides, April 9, 2007) Today Grassroots Environmental Education, a Long Island non-profit and steering member of the National Coalition for Pesticide-Free Lawns, announces the launch of a major transit and radio advertising campaign in the suburban New York metropolitan area. The campaign is aimed at encouraging homeowners to “kick the pesticide habit” and treat their lawns the natural way.
Seven-foot high billboards now adorn the platforms of most Long Island Railroad stations, with a photo of a young father standing on the lawn of his home, cradling his young daughter in his arms. The caption reads, “I’ve Got One Great Reason Not to Use Chemicals On My Lawn.”
“Parents are naturally protective of their children,” says Grassroots associate director Doug Wood. “Once they find out how toxic some of these chemicals are and how easy it is to have a beautiful lawn without them, it’s an easy choice.”
The ad campaign is part of a larger lawn pesticide reduction program developed and carried out by Grassroots. The “Grassroots Healthy Lawn Program,” or “GHLP,” is in its first year on Long Island, but has been proven highly successful in Westchester where it was launched in 2005. The award-winning program, which aims to increase both the supply and demand for natural lawn care, is conducted in cooperation with Nassau and Suffolk Counties, and is sponsored in part by the Long Island Community Foundation.
This year Grassroots, working with the Nassau Suffolk Landscape Gardeners Association, trained more than 125 professional landscapers in the science and techniques of natural lawn care. The program website, www.ghlp.org, now lists more than 40 lawn care companies on Long Island who are offering natural lawn care programs.
“We’ve been working on the supply side of the equation this winter,” says Wood. “Now that spring is here, we’re looking to increase demand by letting people know that they have alternatives when it comes to lawn care: an advertising campaign seemed like the obvious way to get the message out.”
For homeowners who maintain their own lawns, the program website offers consumer tips as well as a list of participating Long Island retailers who carry non-toxic lawn care products.
TAKE ACTION: If you live in the New York region, work to promote the education of your community landscape professionals by visiting www.grassrootsinfo.org for training opportunities or DVD trainings. You can also educate yourself, your municipal or school grounds officials, or local landscapers with the National Coalition for Pesticide-Free Lawns online Organic Land Care Course.
Source: Grassroots Environmental Education is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization based in Port Washington, NY. Founded in 2000, the organization’s mission is to educate the public about the links between environmental toxins and human health. Grassroots produces videos, DVDs, brochures, white papers and other communication tools which enable individuals to act as catalysts for change in their own communities. More information at www.grassrootsinfo.org.