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Over the years,  I have added more plants to attract more wildlife to my yard. I am still amazed how many different birds and insects frequent my yard adding enjoyable sights and sounds. Upkeep can be can take time 

   Roundup is the most widely used chemical herbicide in history and has long been a topic of controversy. The herbicide created by Monsanto was first introduced to the market on 1974. Farmers realized that this chemical made their lifes easier and over time, the emergence of glyphosate-resistant weeds has become widespread, and this has led to farmers using greater volumes of Roundup to try to maintain crop yields.


   While the widely used herbicide it's praised for its effectiveness in weed control, concerns have emerged regarding its health effects, in fact, this chemical is now the subject of several lawsuits brought by people who have developed cancer after years of using Roundup.


   Glyphosate (Roundup’s active ingredient) exposure has raised alarms among gardeners and agricultural workers. Studies have linked glyphosate to various health concerns, including an increased risk of certain cancers, such as non-Hodgkin lymphoma,, leukemia, and multiple myeloma. Exposure to glyphosate has also been linked to reproductive problems, neurological disorders, developmental problems in children, such as birth defects and learning disabilities.


   The risks of exposure to glyphosate vary depending on the type of exposure, the amount of exposure, and the individual's health. However, it is important to be aware of the potential health risks of glyphosate and to take steps to reduce your exposure.


Environmental impact of pesticides:


   Glyphosate-based herbicides like Roundup have faced criticism for their environmental consequences. One major concern is their impact on non-target species, glyphosate is only intended to kill plants, but it’s harming vital pollinators. Glyphosate destroys helpful gut bacteria that keeps bees healthy. It interferes with their digestive system, making them susceptible to dangerous diseases.


   On top of that, Roundup is formulated with other ingredients that can cause bees to suffocate on contact. This chemical can also disrupt aquatic ecosystems, and contaminate soil and water. Additionally, the development of glyphosate-resistant weeds has led to increased herbicide use and a potential threat to biodiversity.


   To mitigate these concerns, gardeners are recommended to adopt eco-friendly gardening practices. This includes planting native species, promoting natural predators, and practicing crop rotation to deter weed growth. Reducing chemical pesticide use not only helps protect the environment but also fosters healthier, more resilient ecosystems.


Measures to avoid pesticide use:


  •    Mulching: Apply a thick layer of organic mulch to your garden beds. Mulch helps suppress weed growth by blocking sunlight and retaining soil moisture. This reduces the need for herbicides like glyphosate.


  •    Hand Weeding: Regularly inspect your garden for weeds and remove them by hand. This labor-intensive method is effective for small to medium-sized gardens and minimizes the use of chemicals.


  • Mechanical Control: Use tools like hoes, weed whackers, or garden tillers to mechanically remove weeds. These methods are chemical-free and can be environmentally friendly when used mindfully.


  • Companion Planting: Experiment with companion planting techniques to deter weeds naturally. Certain plant combinations can discourage weed growth by shading the soil and releasing substances that inhibit weed growth.


  • Biological Control: Introduce beneficial insects and organisms into your garden. Ladybugs, parasitic wasps, and nematodes can help control pest populations, reducing the need for chemical pesticides.


  • Organic Herbicides: Explore organic herbicides made from natural ingredients like vinegar or citrus oil. While these may require more frequent applications, they are safer for the environment and your health.


  • Soil Health: Maintain healthy soil through regular composting and soil enrichment practices. Healthy soil can better resist weed infestations, reducing the need for herbicides.


  • Plant Selection: Choose plant varieties that are well-suited to your local climate and soil conditions. Strong, healthy plants are less vulnerable to pests and weeds.



   While glyphosate-containing herbicides like Roundup have proven effective in weed control, concerns about their health effects on gardeners and their environmental impact cannot be ignored. Gardeners should exercise caution when using pesticides and consider alternative methods of weed control. By adopting eco-friendly gardening practices and reducing pesticide use, we can create more sustainable and healthy gardens that benefit both ourselves and the environment. Glyphosate was found in more than 80% of the children and adults tested by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. One way to decrease your exposure is to choose organic foods when you’re able to. A peer-reviewed study by Friends of the Earth found that levels of glyphosate dropped 71% in people’s bodies after just one week on an organic diet.

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