Phoebe M

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Saskatoon Regional Heritage Fair

Chemical Archaeology

How the heritage of chemicals and pesticides has affected our ecosystem.

What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

I think over the years Canada has taken chemicals and pesticides for granted without caring how much it’s affecting the earth. This is a ‘Lorax’ situation because we’ve invented something and sold so many that we won’t realize the major effects before it’s too late. That’s one big and powerful lesson I would like to pass on to the people of Canada.

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

When I started this project one question I had was ‘What did they do before pesticides?’ Crop rotation was one of the most interesting topics that I researched, along with the very first chemicals used as pesticides, and finding out how pesticides can stay in the earth for an extremely long time and can never be washed out. That heritage was one of the most interesting things to me.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

In the 1800s they didn’t have pesticides, they had their brains and their brawn and they used crop rotation to control pests. That seems like way more work than just popping over to a corner store and buying a pesticide. Our life seems so easy, almost lazy compared to what people had to do back then just to get rid of or outsmart insects and other damaging pests.