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Back You are here: Home Columns Weekly Columns Green Is Where The Heart Is Green is where the Heart Is for July 17, 2013

Green is where the Heart Is for July 17, 2013

“To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug.” ~ Helen Keller

By MO LINQUIST
Contributing Writer

Becoming blind at a young age Helen Keller knew the feel of the grass beneath her feet more than the look. She also probably welcomed the smell of nature but how safe is a spongy grass carpet to obtain?
Scott McHenry visited our home with his wife and two young boys this week.  I decided he would be the perfect person to ask since he was educated at the University of Cincinnati majoring in Horticultural Science. 
In fact, when this busy young parent could not find an honest company that provided good clean service in his hometown of North Canton, OH, he decided to create one, hence the birth of Greener Grass Organic Lawn Care. 
My curiosity revolved around what educated questions to ask if considering a lawn service in our area.   The sandy makeup of our soil provides so much porosity that whatever is applied penetrates easily moving down into the ground water.  
Stormwater runoff is an issue here since lawn fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals from streets, lawns and parking lots are picked up and carried through the storm drain emptying into our precious ocean and river. 
At this point there is no regulatory body that determines what is safe for humans or the environment for lawn care and the readily availability from the big box stores deludes the public into thinking it must be safe if we can buy it over the counter. 
This, according to McHenry, is one of the biggest dangers. The public is unaware of the longterm health risks for people, pets, and nature.  Even when the companies put a little warning flag near the treated area, 24 hours is not enough time to avoid the vicinity. 
Some chemicals may stay in place for 3 months or more and people don’t even think about it.  They walk on the treated grass and bring it into their homes on the bottom of their shoes.  Pets roll in it and bring it inside.  Do you want chemicals in your living environment? 
When interviewing a company about lawn care, ask these three questions to surround yourself with the safest products. 
First, ask what products are they using?  Are they using chemical pesticides or organic and biological pesticides?  The latter are made from natural inhibitors like iron, salt and corn.  As demand is increasing more “clean” products are becoming available.
Second, ask how these products are applied.  Do they blanket the lawn (often over charging where it is not necessary) or do they do spot treatments?  Blanketing the lawn is more common because, of course, it produces more revenue for the company even if it is not necessary. 
Third, ask if they use only organic products or a combination of both chemical and organic/biological.  If they use both, chances are that your lawn will be sprayed with both at their discretion.  It surprised me to learn that using words like Tru and Green may not indicate that the products use are truly green….unless there are many varying shades of living green.  Be careful when they use words like ‘organic based’ or ‘hybrid’ which are a mixture including chemicals.  I would never use a company with a name with the word ‘Chem’ in it and apparently neither would others.  When that company was bought out, the name was changed so it seems like a friendlier and safer application. If you desire to lie in a lush carpet of grass use all your senses and make sure it smells good, feels good and is good for your health.   xo mo
Kure Beach resident Mo Linquist, Red Ribbon Professional of IFSG and allied ASID is a recognized expert on Pyramid Feng Shui. She is the “ PersonPlace” design consultant specializing in soft goods such as fabrics, window treatments, reupholstery, blinds, shutters, feng shui and green healthy living products.  Her design studio is located in the Artful Living Group building 112 Cape Fear Blvd, Carolina Beach, NC.   Linquist speaks nationally and holds regular workshops and accredited trainings on this ancient form of environmental psychology. Helping clients create home and office spaces designed specifically to support their individual goals and intentions, Linquist uses cutting-edge techniques integrating science, 20 years of interior design experience and Feng Shui to balance, harmonize and create new patterns for success. To learn more about her work or for a consultation, contact her at www.personplace.com FaceBook at Mo Linquist Living Solutions or call 910-458-7822 office or 330-904-3636 cell.