Gobar Times
Green School

DUNK THAT Pesty spray

imageSo you had a regular day at school. You found out things you had no idea of, or had suspected all along. But the best part was getting away from class during recess and playing with Ned and Ted – the pet rabbits that wait for you behind the foliage skirting the school grounds. But there’s something that could spell trouble for Ned and Ted. What could possibly do that, you ask, when the gardener and other caretakers feed your friends and keep tabs on their health?

Let us take a look below:

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The graph, above, shows that 82 per cent of GSP schools had excellent practices related to the use of pesticides. But nine per cent of the schools reported using banned pesticides like Calcium Cyanide, Nitrofen and Aldrin. So how does that endanger Ned and Ted, you might wonder.

Releasing poisonous toxins into the soil, THAT is how. From there it is a fairly straight route from plants and trees, which imbibe these toxins along with nutrients from the soil, to the internal organs of the harmless insects and animals that the school grounds nurture.

And just in case you are wondering about the extent of environmental damage that a little spray of regular pesticide here and there can cause, consider this: the soil in Punjab is still reeling from the effect of the pesticides used to promote high yielding varieties of wheat during the Green Revolution – starting in the 1960s! It got grand amounts of wheat, but the clock cannot be turned back for the soil which is perpetually starved of irrigation and running low on natural nutrients.

So, you can imagine why Ned and Ted are worried. Now the ball is in your court. What can YOU do to ensure that your school keeps pests in control without having to resort to dangerous pesticides?

imageGT suggests...
 

  • Gather some friends, teachers and maintenance staff. And tell them about your concern for your furry friends.
  • Check if the vegetation and shrubs stand too close to the building structures in your school.
  • Make sure that cracks and crevices in walls, floors and pavements are sealed.
  • Find out if lockers and desks are emptied and thoroughly cleaned at least twice yearly.
  • Ensure that food-contaminated dishes, utensils, and general surfaces are cleaned at the end of each day.
  • Check if the garbage cans and dumpsters are cleaned regularly. Find out if litter is collected and disposed of properly at least once a week.
  • Check if fertilisers are applied at different seasons during the year, rather than in one heavy application.
  • If pesticides are necessary, and we do not mean the banned variety, persuade the school gardener to use spot treatments (focussing on trouble spots) rather than applying it to large swathes of area.
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DUNK THAT Pesty spray