This time of year, “stay off lawn” signs sprout up as homeowners apply treatments to spruce up their grass.
“I only knew one other house around my block that didn’t spray,” Friedman says. “People are trying to keep their homes green by eating organic and using organic beauty products, but they’re still using harmful chemicals on their lawns.”
So, soon after she moved back to her home state of Michigan from California, in 2017 she created OneNative.org to educate others about the harmful effects of pesticides and fertilizers while offering safe alternatives.
“I think of (lawn chemicals) as secondhand smoking. It affects children, pets, ground water, pollinators, native plants – I could go on and on,” she adds. “It’s just so common and toxic while being completely avoidable.”
Her site has details on local native plant sales, natural gardening tips and kindred nonprofits. It also sells $16 lawn signs that welcome “birds, bugs and bare feet” – and Friedman’s new line of cotton totes and T-shirts arrives this summer.
Learn more about Friedman’s mission at onenative.org.