Time magazine recently published an article on the critical role bees play in our agricultural systems and how pesticides are contributing to their deaths. In June of 2013, Portland experienced a massive die off of 25,000 bees because of pesticides used to keep linden trees free of aphids.
The pesticides we have come to rely on are contributing to the physiological stress bees experience and killing them off by the thousands. If we don’t stop the die off of bees, we will lose billions of dollars in the agriculture industry and may loose foods we love dearly, like almonds, altogether.
Left on its own, we can expect the agricultural industry to respond slowly, if at all, to the pressure to cut back on pesticides. Cutting back on pesticides could mean cutting back on short term profits.
So what can we do? You can help through using what’s called a market-based solution. In other words, put your money where your mouth is. Here are a few things you can do:
- Buy organic or pesticide free produce instead of conventional produce
- Grow as many pollinator friendly plants in your yard as you can manage
- Make your yard a pesticide free zone
- Encourage your school, your city government, and the institutions in your neighborhood to go pesticide free
- Write a letter or a Yelp review encouraging grocery stores to have more organic produce at a better price
These steps may seem like smalls ones, but every major change has always started with a few small steps.