Ecosystem Health Relies on Insects: EPA Needs to Ban Neonicotinoids

(By Sharalyn Peterson, Healthy Wildlife & Water Program Manager) Neonicotinoids, or neonics for short (pronounced NEE-oh-nix), are a type of systemic insecticide used widely in farming, plant nurseries and home pest control. A pesticide is “systemic” when it is absorbed by the plant and remains in its stems, roots, leaves, flowers and other parts. Neonics are either sprayed directly on the soil and on plants, or they are used to coat seeds for many crops (shown in image above). But like many pesticides, the toxic harms that neonics create aren’t just felt by the plants or seeds they are applied to. You might unknowingly be bringing neonics home to your garden, because plants sold in many nurseries are treated with neonics—see our list of Neonic-Free Nurseries in the Northwest in order to avoid these pesticides!   Continue reading

Gratitude for Our Partners

(By Dominica Navarro, Co-Director, and NCAP Staff) As I sit at my desk writing to you and listening to the rainfall in a typically dry region east of the Cascade mountains, I feel the onset of the winter months fast approaching. These seasonal shifts have sunk deep into me, igniting a renewed attention to and observation of the beautiful and intricate relationships that exist in nature. The diversity of relations I see on the land I steward and in my own pesticide-free garden are micro-versions of the relationships I strive to build on a daily basis. They are relationships rooted in reciprocity and justice, while simultaneously creating an often hectic dance to the music of buzzing productivity.  Continue reading

Chemical Free: A Guide To Organic Lawn Care Without Pesticides

Photo: A healthy, green lawn with no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. (By Todd Michaels, Guest Writer) Malathion, chlorpyrifos, aldicarb—don’t let the fancy names fool you. These are some of the most common poisons used to kill pests in the United States. They get the job done, but the ecosystem and you and your family are paying the price for the ruthless efficiency of chemical pesticides. Some of the side effects of malathion are headaches, nausea, dizziness, weakness, cramps, diarrhea, excessive sweating, blurred vision, and increased heart rate. And that’s just from short-term exposure. There’s evidence showing these pesticides are putting endangered species in the Pacific Northwest at further risk. But there are ways to control the mosquitoes and mites and ants, and any other creepy, crawly, or flying thing you’d like to see gone. Here’s a quick primer on organic lawn care without pesticides. Continue reading

New Spanish Resources About Pesticide Drift

When pesticides are applied, they can move through the air to other areas not intended to be sprayed. Drift may appear as a cloud of spray droplets, as dust during application, or as a lingering unpleasant odor. Health problems resulting from drift exposure, or any pesticide exposure, can be immediate—as in the case of an acute poisoning—or long-term, resulting in illnesses like cancer, or reproductive and developmental harms. NCAP partnered with Pesticide Action Network to release new Spanish language resources for farm workers and their families with information on what to do in case of exposure to drift (see Spanish versions further down). Continue reading

NCAP Announces New Leadership Structure

NCAP is thrilled to announce that as of October 1, 2021, we have adopted a Co-Director shared leadership structure. Staff members Ashley Chesser and Dominica Navarro Martinez are now NCAP’s Co-Directors, responsible for leading the areas where they are most skilled (more details below). The NCAP staff and board are excited to move forward together using this leadership model, confident that change and growth will help move us closer to realizing our vision for a world that is free from toxic pesticides. Continue reading