DEC Launches ‘Look for the Zero’

Encourages homeowners to avoid phosphorus

The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on April 6 announced its annual “Look for the Zero” campaign to encourage homeowners to use lawn fertilizers that don’t contain phosphorus.

Fertilizer labels have three numbers; the middle number is the percentage of phosphorus and should be zero, the state said. More than 100 water bodies in the state can no longer be used for swimming or fishing because of phosphorus pollution that triggers algae blooms, it noted.

State law prohibits the use of phosphorus lawn fertilizers unless a new lawn is being established or a soil test shows the lawn does not have enough phosphorus.

One thought on “DEC Launches ‘Look for the Zero’

  1. This is a good start by the DEC. A little late though. This info has been available for a while. Years ago Putnam County made it a requirement of all licensed contractors to take a short course on fertilizer and the safe way to use it in the environment. Kudos to Putnam County!

    Now most licensed commercial lawn contractors are aware of safe practices. The big problem I see is anyone (homeowners and unlicensed contractors) can go to one of the many big box stores in our area and buy fertilizer products that are loaded with phosphorus. Why are these products still available for sale to the general public? Most homeowners don’t know about the cost to the environment, nor should they be expected to since they just want a green lawn. I feel that the DEC should focus their efforts on the source of the problem: The product. But no one wants to go against big money, so we will continue to see use of these products and herbicides until it’s too late. Shame on you, DEC, FDA, USDA and a host of alphabet government organizations that are usually run by ex-chemical company guys. Wake up guys Don’t panic, go organic, like myself and my company have.

    Bardes owns Habitat Revival.