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Because we shouldn’t solely act for the Earth on April 22, Earth911 is honoring the 52 years that Earth Day has been inspiring motion with 52 Actions for the Earth. The Earth Day theme this 12 months is investing in the planet. Each week from Earth Day 2022 to Earth Day 2023, we’ll share an motion you possibly can take to put money into the Earth and make your individual life extra sustainable.
This week, you possibly can put money into the Earth by defending bees.
Action: Dispose of Pesticides
Benefits of Bees
Honeybees contribute to the pollination of 84% of the crops grown for human consumption (a 3rd of all of the meals we eat) in addition to many crops grown for livestock. The business worth of honeybees within the U.S. alone has been estimated at over $15 billion per 12 months. Meanwhile, native bumblebees and solitary bee species are even more efficient pollinators of wildflowers and native vegetation. Bees are a keystone to each agriculture and ecosystems.
But populations of honeybees have dropped a surprising 90% for the reason that ‘90s on account of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Although the mass die-off appears to have stopped, numbers are nonetheless low, and it’ll take years to rebuild the honeybee inhabitants to wholesome ranges. The causes of CCD are nonetheless unexplained, however researchers assume it outcomes from a mix of stressors together with parasites and pesticide use.
CCD solely impacts European honeybees, however nearly a quarter of native bee species are additionally experiencing inhabitants declines and vary reductions. Native bee species are being affected by habitat loss and fragmentation in addition to – you guessed it – pesticides.
You don’t must hold your own hive or convert your garden right into a wildlife habitat (though these are each nice issues to do) to assist bees of every kind thrive. The most necessary factor you are able to do to assist bee populations is to eliminate pesticides out of your backyard. A category of pesticides known as neonicotinoids is especially dangerous to bees and plenty of of them have been banned within the European Union. They are nonetheless permitted within the U.S. regardless of repeated attempts to ban them. Although nonetheless authorized, EPA advises owners in opposition to their use and proposes to ban the usage of considered one of them, imidacloprid, on residential lawns and turf.
Clean Up Your Pesticides
This week, undergo your basement, storage, or backyard shed and gather all of the pesticides. Check their components lists for the next:
Do not dispose of those pesticides within the trash. Contact your native strong waste utility and observe their coverage for disposal of household hazardous waste (HHW). Many municipalities will gather HHW free of charge; elsewhere, firms like Clean Harbors and Waste Management settle for HHW for a payment. If there is no such thing as a secure native disposal program the place you reside, deplete the remainder of the pesticide by following the instructions fastidiously. Then recycle the empty container.