Notes from a telephone interview with Edwina von Gal, on Tuesday 18th April.
In 2013, Edwina founded the Perfect Earth Project to promote toxin-free landscapes for the health of people, their pets, and the planet. They provide outreach and education, to move home-owners and lawn care services away from pesticides. Prior to Perfect Earth Edwina was a landscape architect in NYC for more than 30 years, and had set-up her own design studio.
What is their strategy?
- Focus efforts on those already pre-disposed to health concerns, for example, pregnant mothers, families, pet owners.
- Work with local environmental groups and organic food shops to spread the message about their events in the community.
- Focus on the home owner (the client) and in that way bring about a change in practice from the landscaper.
What aspects are most effective at persuading people to move to a toxin-free garden?
- Particularly endocrine disruptors and carcinogens found in pesticides
- Women – are most receptive to their ideas, and will persuade the husbands if they are involved in the garden maintenance.
How do they create a perfect lawn?
- A different skill set is required – landscapers are taught to kill everything but 3 species, so it is ‘easy’ to maintain.
- In reality, a more bio-diverse lawn will fertilize itself and maintain itself, but it needs some knowledge and skill from the landscape architect to go into its initial development.
- Historically lawns and gardens were a display of power – Versailles the first major example of this.
- We do not have to control nature anymore – it is not going to hurt us.
- We need to let nature back into our lives, and even contribute positively to our environment.
- Relinquish some control!