Step outside and discover how to make your grass greener—without chemical pesticides, fertilizers, and a gazillion gallons of water. Natural pesticides and herbicides keep chemicals off your lawn, making it safer for kids, pets, and even earthworms. Where pesticides are regularly applied, 60% to 90% of earthworms, whose job is to keep the soil healthy, are killed. Fifty to seventy percent of water in the average home goes to lawn-and-garden care, so consider using native plants or ones that are specially chosen for your local climate and soil types, combined with savvy irrigation techniques. The result is a low-stress but lush landscape that can reduce outdoor water use by up to 60%.
+ three to grow on
High Country Gardens
Nursery specializing in xeriscape-friendly plants for dry climates.
Safety Source for Pest Management
A 40-state directory of non- or least-toxic pest-control providers.
Golden Harvest Organics' Web site provides a guide to plants that naturally repel specific pests.
If 10,000 people switch to nontoxic pest control, we'd get rid of the weight of 1,708 plastic pink flamingos a year in synthetic pesticides.
Jennifer Boulden is the cofounder of Idealbite.com, a free daily email offering bite-sized ideas for "light green living."
A version of this article appeared in the September 2007 issue of Fast Company magazine.