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Our Organic Manifesto: The 12-Step Process

Practicing Step 12, at the recent Common Ground Fair (Bob Fowler photo)

Practicing Step 12, at the recent Common Ground Fair (Bob Fowler photo)

For when times get tough in the organic fight, either in your personal lawn or your personal commitment to the larger cause, here is my 12-STEP ORGANIC MANIFESTO that I published several years ago when I first vowed to be an organic crusader. Patterned after the more famous 12-step plan, it’s worth going back to once in a while:

WHY ORGANIC, WHY NOW
Step 1. We begin to question if our present lawn and lawn-care maintenance program is unwieldy, unmanageable, too expensive and impractical.

2. We begin to believe that as citizens of the earth, we may find a kinder, gentler approach to our lawns and landscapes.

3. After review of more natural alternatives, we make an affirmative decision to change.

4. We reaffirm that aesthetics is simply never a good enough reason to risk damaging the health of our families, our pets and our planet.

5. We openly admit to ourselves and others that our previous system of landscaping was flawed.

6. We rid our home of any potential poisons associated with our lawns and landscapes and begin to seek out alternatives.

7. We seek professional help, in the form of books, magazines, support groups and certified landscape professionals.

8. We make a list of every specific reason we are making this change, of the insects, air, water, birds, animals and people we may have harmed, and we keep the list close at hand.

9. We consciously appreciate the ecosystem around us and vow to become more aware of our daily place within a harmonious system.

10. We reaffirm our faith in doing the right thing whenever we encounter difficulties in our transition.

11. We commit to an ongoing educational process, making ourselves aware of new products, techniques, services, service providers, legislation and alternatives.

12. Armed with knowledge and experience as the result of these steps, we carry our message of “Why Organic, Why Now” into the community.

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 : 1023
  • Ernie W.

    Nice words, Paul. Very analogous. And if I’m not mistaken, isn’t that the very lovely Heather Spaulding in the front row?

    • Paul Tukey

      Ernie,
      Thanks. And, yes, that is Heather. We both participated in a public policy teach-in about community activism. The Common Ground Fair had nearly 60,000 people come through this year in just three days. It really is a cultural phenomenon. Heather and everyone at MOFGA (www.mofga.org) does a great job.

  • Daniel

    “4. We reaffirm that aesthetics is simply never a good enough reason to risk damaging the health of our families, our pets and our planet.”

    I totally agree with this statement but I think it is flawed. I believe I can grow a better, healthier, and more aesthetically pleasing lawn and landscape organically without the use of synthetics.

    Saying something is not going to look as good if you do it organically is going to immediately turn people off. Maybe a better way to say it is:

    4. We reaffirm that INSTANT aesthetics is simply never a good enough reason to risk damaging the health of our families, our pets and our planet.

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