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Sounding Off: Earth Day’s Sellout to ChemLawn Stirs Angry Responses

Within minutes of our email to our SafeLawns members on Monday, a page was posted on Facebook denouncing the ChemLawns sponsorship of Earth Day: http://www.facebook.com/pages/STOP-TruGreen-from-Sponsoring-Earth-Day/369629442113?ref=nf. Comments have continued to flow in all week. The page urges everyone to contact Kathleen Rogers, President of Earth Day at rogers@earthday.net. Ms. Rogers has not yet responded to me personally, but she has apparently returned emails from several others who expressed dismay about their decision to take money from the worst environmental offender in the history of the landscape industry. She seems to believe that ChemLawn is making an earnest effort to be environmentally friendly — and cannot see the obvious truth that the company is using its affiliation with Earth Day to greenwash its image.

Here’s a link to the Toxics Action Center’s page about all the reasons to avoid ChemLawn: http://refusetousechemlawn.org/. And another link to a Planet Green post from today: http://planetgreen.discovery.com/home-garden/trugreen-chemlawn-earth-day.html.

I found another interesting perspective on-line about Major League Baseball’s ill-conceived and similar sponsorship deal with Scott Miracle Gro. It’s from Tom Kelly, the co-founder of LawnDawg who has now denounced chemicals and has started FireBelly Organics. Tom knows better than anyone how unrealistic it is to aspire to a Major League Baseball type lawn around your own home: http://firebellylawncare.com/blog/.

About The Author

Paul Tukey

An international leader of the green movement, Mr. Tukey is a journalist, author, filmmaker, TV host, activist and award-winning public speaker, who is widely recognized as North America's leading advocate for landscape sustainability and toxic pesticide reduction strategies.

Number of Entries : 1024
  • It’s Only Natural Landscaping

    Paul,
    We called TruGreen and asked for an estimate & information regarding organic lawn treatments for our home lawn immediately after first hearing about this partnership.

    Despite specifically asking for the organic program we received an estimate for the same old weed & feed spray. (This included SEVEN applications a year with no mention of a soil test to actually determine nutrient/pH needs!)

    During further discussions, we were told things like the following when we expressed concerns about the safety of the chemical applications:
    • “Chemical treatment will give you the best results.”
    • “There usually are no problems.”
    • “IF I can’t talk to you into it then you can go for the organics.”

    It’s obviously business as usual at TruGreen…er…ChemLawn. The difference now is that through their rebranding and partnership with EarthDay Network they will be able to mislead millions of Americans.

  • http://gardenorganicfood.com Mindi Garibaldi

    Great entry.

    This is kind of off-topic, but what is your favorite soil conditioning fertilizer? I’ve tried Bio-Magic on my vegetable garden, but I don’t like the results. Anyone have suggestions?

    • Paul Tukey

      Mindi,
      Check out any of our sponsors and approved contractors. They all sell great SafeLawns Approved fertilizers.

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