Surveys: Homeowners need more education about how lawn and garden activities impact the environment

Recent research revealed 93 percent of Americans would be willing to change their lawn and garden activities if it would make a difference in the environment.

This data and more was released during a special media Web conference held April 21 to discuss consumer attitudes and behaviors regarding lawns, gardens and the environment, and to present the latest research and tips on environmental stewardship practices. The event was led by industry experts from the Garden Writers Association, the National Gardening Association, The New York Botanical Garden, and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company.

Research conducted by ScottsMiracle-Gro revealed that homeowners really do care about the issue of lawn care and the environment, but their behavior proves a need for more education. Seventy-three percent of homeowners agreed their individual behavior can make a difference in maintaining a healthy environment. However, only 25 percent of respondents said they proactively take personal action to ensure a safer environment.

Research by the National Gardening Association very closely mirrored findings of the research recently completed by ScottsMiracle-Gro. The research results found that only three out of 12 environmentally friendly lawn and landscape practices were used by more than half of all U.S. homeowners with a yard or garden.

The panelists expressed their personal commitments and strong desire to help educate the public about taking some simple steps to improve the environment while also maintaining a healthy lawn and beautiful garden.

A few key environmental stewardship practice tips from the expert panelists:

  • Use the right cultural practices and plant varieties to ensure natural plant vigor
  • Apply fertilizer and water at recommended rates
  • Sweep up grass clippings to return nutrients to the soil
  • Sweep fertilizer off pavement to keep out of water sources
  • Choose the right products for the job and spot treat problem areas with a ready-made product that you don't have to mix yourself

This article originally appeared in the 04/01/2005 issue of Environmental Protection.

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