‘Green’ Your Lawn and Lessen its Negative Environmental Impact

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You can green your lawn by making the grass a brighter, healthier shade of the color green. This could include chemical treatments, fertilizers, frequent mowing, insecticides, and lots of fresh water.

Or, you can “green” your lawn by making it more environmentally friendly. A typical lawn can be a receptacle for toxic chemicals, costly to maintain, time-consuming to keep looking good, and a drain on valuable natural resources.

In fact, many dry-climate municipalities, including Austin, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Mesa, are paying homeowners to remove their lawns in order to save water resources. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power recently raised its lawn-removal incentive from $1.50 per square foot of grass to $2.00 (and $1.00 per square foot of commercial turf removed) to help rid the burden of thousands of gallons per day of water use.

The following are suggestions to “green” your lawn and lessen its negative environmental impact.

Tear up your lawn. As urged by Los Angeles and cities, replace turf grass with gravel, mulch, and drought-resistant or native plants. This will greatly reduce labor costs and time, as well as water usage.

Use an electric or push mower. Gasoline-powered lawn mowers burn carbon-emitting fossil fuels and create noise pollution. Switch to an electric or human-powered push mower.

Use a mulching mower. A mulching mower will churn grass clippings and leaves into a natural fertilizing mulch. This reduces landfill waste of yard clippings and reduces the need for chemical fertilizers.

Plant a vegetable garden. Eat can’t eat grass. So, use a portion (or all) of your lawn to plant an organic vegetable garden. Growing your own vegetables uses less energy than buying produce grown in other parts of the world.

Plant fruit or nut trees. As with a vegetable garden, replacing a portion of your lawn with fruit or nut trees allows you to become more self-sufficient and reduce the need to buy items shipped from abroad.

Plant shade trees. Properly positioned and mature shade trees can keep your home cooler in the summer by blocking direct sunlight. This can lower your overall energy consumption by using the air conditioner less.

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