Earth Motion: Eliminate Pesticides

As a result of we shouldn’t solely act for the Earth on April 22, Earth911 is honoring the 52 years that Earth Day has been inspiring motion with 52 Actions for the Earth. The Earth Day theme this yr is investing in the planet. Every week from Earth Day 2022 to Earth Day 2023, we’ll share an motion you may take to spend money on the Earth and make your personal life extra sustainable.

This week, you may spend money on the Earth by defending bees.

Motion: Eliminate Pesticides

Advantages of Bees

Honeybees contribute to the pollination of 84% of the crops grown for human consumption (a 3rd of all of the meals we eat) in addition to many crops grown for livestock. The industrial worth of honeybees within the U.S. alone has been estimated at over $15 billion per yr. In the meantime, native bumblebees and solitary bee species are even more efficient pollinators of wildflowers and native vegetation. Bees are a keystone to each agriculture and ecosystems.

Colony Collapse

However populations of honeybees have dropped a stunning 90% because the ‘90s resulting from Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Though the mass die-off appears to have stopped, numbers are nonetheless low, and it’ll take years to rebuild the honeybee inhabitants to wholesome ranges. The causes of CCD are nonetheless unexplained, however researchers assume it outcomes from a mix of stressors together with parasites and pesticide use.

CCD solely impacts European honeybees, however nearly a quarter of native bee species are additionally experiencing inhabitants declines and vary reductions. Native bee species are being affected by habitat loss and fragmentation in addition to – you guessed it – pesticides.

bees on purple crocus
A very powerful factor you are able to do to assist bee populations is to remove pesticides out of your backyard. Picture courtesy of Neil Moralee, beneath CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Pesticide Air pollution

You don’t have to maintain your own hive or convert your garden right into a wildlife habitat (though these are each nice issues to do) to assist bees of every kind thrive. A very powerful factor you are able to do to assist bee populations is to eliminate pesticides out of your backyard. A category of pesticides known as neonicotinoids is especially dangerous to bees and plenty of of them have been banned within the European Union. They’re nonetheless permitted within the U.S. regardless of repeated attempts to ban them. Though nonetheless authorized, EPA advises householders towards their use and proposes to ban the usage of one in all them, imidacloprid, on residential lawns and turf.

Clear Up Your Pesticides

For the good thing about bees (and people and different wildlife), residence gardeners ought to search for nontoxic pest control options and follow organic gardening.

This week, undergo your basement, storage, or backyard shed and gather all of the pesticides. Verify their elements lists for the next:

  • acetamiprid
  • clothianidin
  • dinotefurandis
  • imidacloprid
  • thiamethoxam
  • sulfoxaflor
  • flupyradifurone
  • fipronil

Don’t dispose of those pesticides within the trash. Contact your native strong waste utility and observe their coverage for disposal of household hazardous waste (HHW). Many municipalities will gather HHW free of charge; elsewhere, corporations like Clean Harbors and Waste Management settle for HHW for a price. If there isn’t any protected native disposal program the place you reside, expend the remainder of the pesticide by following the instructions rigorously. Then recycle the empty container.

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