Sonoma County Safe AG Safe Schools: Steps You Can Take NOW To Stop Pesticide Use

Steps You Can Take NOW To Stop Pesticide Use

SASS is a coalition of like minded groups working for a healthier  county:  Sonoma SA/SS, Pesticide-Free Petaluma, Preserve Rural Sonoma County (PRSC), Wine and Water Watch (WWW), Sonoma County Conservation Action (SCCA), Daily Acts, & Families Advocating Chemical and Toxic Safety (FACTS).


  1. Only use pesticides (weedkillers, insecticides, fungicides, etc.) that are labeled OMRI/organic, or make your own non-toxic weed killer. If your favorite store doesn’t carry these products, ask them to start.
  2. Work on soil health, regeneration, and biodiversity by hand weeding, mulching, planting native plants, and conserving water. Look into local programs and companies that can help.
  3. Make sure landscapers at your home, office, gym, etc. only use OMRI/organic chemicals. This protects you & the workers. Contact your HOA board and ask them to make sure their landscapers are not spraying synthetic chemicals, and follow up.
  4. Talk to your neighbors, ask them not to spray, and share organic pesticide recipes. Adopt-A-Park! Contact your Parks Dept and ask them to agree to not spray at your local park if the neighbors do weed pulling parties. Make flyers in your neighborhood, post on Nextdoor, and get to work.
  5. Ask your child’s school if they use synthetic pesticides and whether they have an Integrated Pest Management plan (required by law). Sign up to be notified by the school prior to ANY spray done on school property.
  6. Spread the word that “certified sustainable” wine is NOT the same as organic. Most wines that are “certified sustainable” are made with conventionally grown grapes sprayed with dozens of toxic synthetic pesticides.
  7. Purchase wine that is certified organic, biodynamic, or labeled as “made with organic grapes”. Ask restaurants and stores to source organic/ biodynamic wine.
  8. Show up and write letters to get synthetic pesticides out of city parks and public spaces. It doesn’t matter where you live, pesticide use in public spaces affects us all. 
  9. Remember, most of us are doing our best. The reality of how profoundly synthetic pesticides are impacting our health, our environment, and our children’s future can be extremely difficult to process and acknowledge. It is common for people to strongly reject the notion that synthetic pesticides, like RoundUp, could be harmful. If you encounter someone who isn’t yet ready to be enlightened, remember to stay positive, be gentle, and have faith that they will come around when they are ready.

Non-Toxic Weed Killer Recipe

This is a natural weed killer with salt, vinegar and liquid dish soap (e.g. Dawn). Combine the following ingredients in a spray bottle:

  • 1 gallon horticulture white vinegar
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 Tablespoon liquid dish soap

Spray weeds with this vinegar weed killer during the sunniest time of day for optimum results.     

Sonoma County Tomorrow
Wine & Water Watch and Preserve Rural Sonoma County sponsor