Photo: David Friend
They’re responsible for 1 out of every 3 bites of food you take. Pollinators bats, moths, hummingbirds, butterflies and bees are crucial to many healthy ecosystems, and to our food crops as well.
Unfortunately, the pollinators in the U.S. face an uphill battle. Disease, the spread of invasive plants and overuse of toxic pesticides are making it difficult for pollinators to survive. One class of insecticides known as neonicotinoids is particularly dangerous. Highly toxic to bees, it’s found in pollen and nectar and remains in soil for months and years after it was applied.
The good news is that there are simple actions that you can take at home to make a difference. Will you pledge to help protect pollinators?
Instead of using chemicals to kill weeds, I will try homemade remedies like pouring vinegar or boiling water on them. The strong scent from garlic or pepper spray can deter hungry pests from gardens or flowers. I can add coffee grounds to the soil in order to deter slugs. I will also research other natural methods, like pairing certain plants with one another.
Check the label
Most homeowners who use neonics on their gardens, lawns and trees may not even know it. I will be sure to read the labels on any garden products I purchase. I will avoid anything that contains neonicotinoids such as imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, acetamiprid and dinotefuran. If I do use a pesticide, I will spray at night when pollinators are less active.
I will help attract pollinators to my yard by planting native flowering plants that bloom through the growing season. By planting in clumps, rather than singles, and using a variety of flower colors and shapes, I can attract different pollinators.
I will provide nesting sites for the different species of pollinators that visit my yard. Where possible, I’ll leave dead trees and limbs, or undisturbed patches on the ground, alone so bees can build homes in them, and leave trees and shrubs untouched if they may contain hummingbird nests.
The agricultural industry uses far more pesticides than we do at home. By purchasing organic food, I can help encourage pesticide-free farming. If buying organic isn’t an option, I’ll reach out to the companies that supply me food and let them know that I want them to take a more environmentally responsible approach.
Spread the word
I’ll talk to my friends, family and neighbors about protecting pollinators. Everyone can make an impact, but the more who are aware of the problem and do something about it, the bigger difference we can all make for pollinators.
Sign the Pledge![Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]
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