Another day it occurred to me that time as we know it doesn’t exist in a lawn, since grass never dies or is allowed to flower and set seed. Lawns are nature purged of sex or death.
No wonder Americans like them so much. ~ Michael Pollan, Second Nature 1991
For centuries plush green lawns both sprawling and well-manicured, have been a symbol of wealth and status. Village homes were adorned by vegetable and herb gardens while village greens and common spaces were often grasses and turfs maintained by goats and other grazing animals.
In a 50 Shades of Green Divas episode, we consider whether the grass is indeed greener and explore some healthier more eco-friendly alternatives with Green Dude (Devo) Mike Nowak, Victoria Alzapiedi, and GD Spirit Pub‘s Julie Bond Genovese.
50 Shades of Green Divas: Do we really need lawns?
a few facts about lawns
There are three different types of grass, bullrushes, sedges, and grasses, the most common in the US is Poaceae-grasses. There are many invasive grasses, including Japanese Stilt grass, which can take over your lawn.
The most popular lawn decorations are pink flamingos. Shops in the US sell around 250,000 pink flamingo sets each year.
Out of the 30 commonly used pesticides on lawns, 19 are linked with cancer or carcinogenicity, 13 are linked with birth defects, 21 with reproductive effects, 26 with liver or kidney damage, 15 with neurotoxicity, and 11 with disruption of the endocrine (hormonal) system.
Of those same 30 lawn pesticides, 17 are detected in groundwater, 23 have the ability to leach into drinking water sources, 24 are toxic to fish and other aquatic organisms vital to our ecosystem, 11 are toxic to bees, and 16 are toxic to birds. From a GD post by Mike Nowak.
Golf courses are adding to the droughts in many states, as excessive amounts of water are used to keep a golf course green.
In the summer, about 238 gallons of water is used per household on lawns. Again, think of the waste of this precious commodity.
In the US we use over 7 billion gallons of water each year for outdoor watering! That’s 30% of our water supply!?! Read more in our post about water conservation.