WHY ARE LAWNS TERRIBLE?
- Yes, a well-maintained lawn is beautiful. But maintaining these pristine, unnatural ecosystems comes at a high cost. A cost to the health of our ecosystem and humanity that isn't worth it once you realize how and why lawns are terrible. Here are some of the reasons we need to stop obsessing over perfect lawns and switch to permaculture.
- Noise and Air Pollution - Lawn mowers and similar equipment account for 5% of air pollution, as well as a good portion of noise pollution.
Water Waste - Lawns require a lot of water to maintain their perfect green color, accounting for 30-60% of all fresh water consumption in urban areas. As a general rule, the more water-starved or stressed an area is, the more lawns and landscaping contribute to the problem by relying on the already limited water supply not to shrivel up and die.
- Water Supply - The water supply in the ground is then poisoned as toxins seep into our groundwater, into our tap water, and then into us in various ways. Even if you don't drink tap water, we most often bathe, shower or swim in it. The skin is our largest organ and absorbs toxins quite easily.
Higher concentration of poisons - Homeowners spend billions of dollars and use 10 times more pesticides and fertilizers per acre on their lawns than farmers do on crops. Even though farmland takes up much more space than lawns, pesticide use in urban areas is much more concentrated.
- Toxic toll on pollinators - Poisons sprayed on lawns kill other plants/weeds that bees need to survive. Also, studies have shown that bees pick up the toxins, killing them directly, and the bees spread the toxins around.
Pets, Wildlife and Children - While they may tell us to stay off the lawn for a few days after spraying, the poison doesn't just go away. Our pets, wildlife and children end up absorbing the poison by simply touching the lawn afterwards.
- Soil - Monocultures such as grass destroy the soil, while permaculture repairs the soil.
Obviously, lawns are not the answer, even if you eliminate the poisons. Problems with pollinators eliminating other plants/weeds, wasting water, and destroying the soil are always problematic.
- It's time to grow food my friends!