Squelch mulch, environmentalists say

<p>The Sierra Club, among other environmental organizations, is asking several large retailers to help stop the destruction of valuable habitat by discontinuing the sale of cypress mulch. The organization is calling on Home Depot, Wal-Mart and Lowe’s, in addition to local stores and nurseries that carry the product.

Cypress trees act as a storm buffer during hurricanes and flooding. Despite packaging that often lists a Florida address, Louisiana is the major source of the mulch, say environmentalists. The organization suggests gardeners use pine straw and pine bark as an alternative.

The effort to stop the logging is supported by Robert Kennedy Jr., president of Waterkeeper Alliance, a grassroots network of organizations dedicated to clean waterways. The alliance recently took out a full-page ad in USA Today, asking consumers to boycott the mulch.