Nice flowers. Wait, what's that, they were treated with pesticides? Oh never mind, the pesticides were approved by the EPA so they must be safe, right? Hmmm, so why would Home Depot go to the trouble of putting this tag in there telling you where to go for more information? Is it because we have now confirmed Neonicotinoid use is harmful to bees and just may be a major contributing factor to colony collapse disorder? Is it because THE ENTIRE EUROPEAN UNION voted to ban it from being used at all outdoors? Seems like there was plenty of room to print that on there. Here, let me fix it for you Home Depot:
Treated with Neonicotinoid
These pesticides are approved by the EPA, however 28 European nations have banned it from being used outdoors.
For more info, google Neonicotinoid and find countless studies linking its use to colony collapse disorder. A 2016 survey of beekeepers found they had lost 44% of their colonies over the past year. A 2017 study in the journal Science found neonic pesticides in 75% of honey samples around the globe.
There, that's better. Not so much for sales but in terms of actually informing the consumer of what they are about to support with their purchase.
It's Spring time and any day now you're going to be walking through your local greenhouse or garden center picking out some new plants for the front yard or veggies for the garden. Take the time to know exactly who you are buying from and what they used to grow the plant before it made its way to you. Your definition of what is OK may be very different from Home Depot's or even the EPA.
If you're looking for an alternative to the giant chain stores, we can't recommend Fedco Seeds highly enough (they also sell shrubs, trees, bulbs, and organic grower supplies). Fedco is committed to full transparency and goes to great lengths to ensure you know exactly where your plants are coming from. They also refuse to offer products sold by corporations like Monsanto and Bayer known to engage in genetic engineering and other practices harmful to the planet.
What has Bayer ever done that was so bad? Well for one, they're the ones who invented Neonicotinoids. Beyond the devastating impact to bees this wonderful product has been linked to the decline of some bird populations. The studies showed it wasn't actually the bird impacted directly, but rather the insects they were eating that were toxic. What else is eating those insects? And are you eating that?
Be on the lookout for anything with this Neonicotinoid warning and just say no. Thanks to pictures like the one above being shard on social media by people determined to do something about it, Both Home Depot and Lowe's have pledged to stop selling neonic-treated plants by the end of 2018 and 2019, respectively. Make sure wherever you are buying from has done the same. And don't forget that your elected officials rely on your vote to stay in office and keep their jobs. Find out where they stand on issues like this one. Do what you can to educate them about the dangers of Neonicotinoids and if they still don't support a ban, vote for someone who does. You may not be the type to go on the social media warpath fighting to change the world, but you can make a difference just by making personal choices that are in line with a better future for our planet.