Choose to be Phosphate Free
The health of our rivers and lakes is making big news these days and the effects of Phosphates are the biggest part of the story. Since 2009, lawn fertilizers containing phosphorous are no longer allowed in Manitoba. The good news is that Eco Green lawn fertilizers have NEVER included phosphorous. So while the news about phosphates in our lakes is new, Eco Green’s commitment to being safe for the environment is long standing.
What’s wrong with Phosphate?
We know that when phosphate levels in our waterways get too high, aquatic plant growth gets out of control, depleting oxygen and damaging water quality. Lower oxygen levels eventually lead to killing off fish and other organisms and the additional algae reduces recreational appeal and negatively impacts the taste and odor of drinking water. Sources of phosphate include naturally occurring types such as drainage from bogs or regular runoff and wastewater that makes it’s way into rivers and streams particularly after heavy rains. Other sources include human sewage and livestock waste when not properly treated, and many common household cleaning products such as laundry or dishwashing detergent.
Why were Phosphates used?
Phosphates have been included in fertilizers and detergents for the benefits they add to these products. Phosphate fertilizers offer health benefits to plants growing in soils with low phosphate levels and help newly seeded plants to germinate and quickly become established. Fortunately, soil samples have shown that most Manitoba soils naturally contain phosphate levels high enough for your lawn. Detergent containing phosphates are more effective because they suspend dirt, emulsify oil and grease and reduce germs on clothes.
What Can You Do To Help?
Fortunately we can all make small changes that collectively will make a big difference. So what can you do? Well, when purchasing detergents or cleaning products, look for “phosphate free” on the label. If the label does not say the product is phosphate free, it probably does contain phosphates. Ask your retailer for phosphate free or low phosphate alternatives.