Glyphosate continues to make headlines with ongoing lawsuits and the mounting claims of tremendous human and environmental damage. But reading these reports, you may have a few questions like, what is glyphosate, what are potential harmful effects, and how can we reduce reliance on glyphosate? At Sunday, we do our best to avoid use of glyphosate, in any context, but especially in our homes and yards.
Glyphosate is a non-selective (definition: kills every type of plant) systemic (definition: transferred throughout the plant) herbicide. Essentially, it’s a pesticide that kills plants and is widely used in agriculture, aquatic environments, right-of-ways, airports and native and urban landscapes to control weeds. Glyphosate doesn’t degrade quickly once in a plant. This means glyphosate stays in the plant until it dies. It does not persist in the soil and it degrades quickly in organic matter.
While all pesticides carry potential health hazards, glyphosate is unique in its over use and market dominance. Our collective reliance on this chemical has diminished, and in many cases completely replaced, nearly every alternative weed management practice. In fact, reliance on glyphosate in agriculture has resulted in over 140 different weed species becoming resistant in the US alone. Unfortunately, rather than seeing this as a sign of the complications of chemical over-application, it has only accelerated the arms race between humans and pests, where stronger and more potent chemicals are being developed and applied to our lawns.
The environmental ripple from widespread reliance on glyphosate is having ecosystem-level impacts. Everything from decreasing populations of birds, bees, and other pollinators, mounting concerns regarding water quality, and impacts on human health, etc. are facing the impacts from overuse and reliance on glyphosate.
Glyphosate is designed to control plants in areas where you don’t want them growing and it is an excellent plant killer. It was only a matter of time before the same strategy was applied to our backyards as spot treatment on hardscape areas or targeted application within a garden or flower bed. Spot treatment of weeds in lawns with glyphosate does not make sense because it will easily kill all nearby lawn grasses.
At Sunday, we believe that pesticides like glyphosate are not necessary in lawn care. We do not want to contribute to the continued use of ingredients like these. That’s why we provide alternatives to glyphosate.
The Sunday alternatives to glyphosate were developed for a few reasons:
*Weed Warrior can kill grass leaves (not the roots) and it will grow back!
We’re doing our best to limit the amount of harmful chemicals you apply near your home and onto your lawn. That’s why Sunday developed Dandelion Doom and Weed Warrior, two different weed control products in your lawn that target undesirable plants while making sure you’re not over applying pesticides on your lawn and gardens.
While the long-term effects of ongoing glyphosate use are much debated, we believe that it is not worth the risk – especially just to remove a few weeds. If all signs point to problems, why continue? Over-application and chemical overuse are certainly having a lasting effect on people, the environment and our food, and we want to provide better-for-the-planet alternatives.
As we provide these alternatives, we also want to rethink how we interact with the natural world – why do we always want to control things? Why not solve the longer term issue (select the right grass and improve cultural lawn practices, soil conditions, and light) so weeds don’t grow there to begin with. These are key practices we need to consider first, with step-by-step guides located on The Shed.
Culturally, we’ve reached a place where “business as usual” isn’t a good path forward. It’s time to rethink how we treat the planet. Luckily, that can start right in our own backyards. Sunday is dedicated to thinking differently and creating better lawn practices that are easy to use. That way everyone can grow a lawn that is better for people, pets and the planet.
National Pesticide Information Center. Glyphosate General Fact Sheet.
Wallace, J., D. Lingenfelter and A. Grover. Glyphosate (Roundup): Understanding Risks to Human Health. PennState University Extension.