It’s no secret Long Islanders take a lot of pride in their lawns.
For some reason, the condition of our lawns begins to feel like an extension of ourselves.
Although it’s been found that nitrogen from fertilizers, pesticides and other sources is largely to blame for degraded water quality in rivers and bays across the U.S., it’s hard to “go green” when that may mean going brown — or allowing room for a weed or three
The people behind the Operation Blue Earth initiative are hoping to help locals overcome their insecurities with a simple sign for their lawn.
It’s a signal to neighbors that you’re not getting lazy, or that you stopped caring.
To the contrary, it’s to let everyone know that you’re trying to save the earth — or, at least, our way of life here on Long Island.
Here’s how it works:
People are asked to take a pledge to not use fertilizers and pesticides on their lawn or garden, and when they do they get the lawn sign and car magnet.
The logo is of a green circle encircled by a blue circle.
So now when you see those little signs around town, you’ll know what they signify.
“We want people to make that voluntary jump to responsible lawn care,” said Chris Quartuccio, the founder of Blue Island Oyster Company of West Sayville, as well as the nonprofit Blue Island Oyster Foundation.
“We live on an island and we have to act differently than someone who, say, lives in Pennsylvania or even Central New Jersey,” he said.
The foundation is focusing its Blue Earth efforts on Sayville and West Sayville to start, and then will be working to get the signs and magnets to all the hamlets and villages along the bay and beyond.
“People have this mentality that you can fertilize your lawn to whatever extent you want, and there’s no impact to anyone,” Quartuccio said.
“We’re just trying to change that mindset.”
Those looking to follow or contribute to the efforts through social media can do so using #operationblueearth.