Yes, a well manicured lawn looks beautiful. But maintaining these pristine, unnatural ecosystems comes at a high cost. A cost of the health of our eco-system and humanity that is not 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 make the move to permaculture;
Noise and air pollution – Lawn mowers and similar equipment account for 5 percent of air pollution, and a fair amount of the noise pollution as well.
Water wastage – Lawns require lots of water to maintain their perfect green color, accounting for 30-60% of all urban fresh water usage. Generally, the more that an area is water-insecure or stressed, the more that lawns and landscaping contribute to the problem by relying on the already limited water supply to not shrivel and die.
Water supply – The water supply in the ground is then poisoned as the toxins seep into our groundwater, into our tap water, and then into us through various ways. Even if you don’t drink tap water, we bath, shower or swim in it most often. The skin is our largest organ and absorbs toxins quite easily.
Higher concentration of poisons – Homeowners spend billions of dollars and use 10 times the amount of pesticide and fertilizers per acre on their lawns as farmers do on crops. Even though agricultural land takes up much more space than lawns, pesticide usage in urban areas is far more concentrated.
Toxic toll on pollinators – The poisons sprayed on lawns are killing other plants/weeds that bees need to survive. As well, studies have shown that the bees are picking up the toxins, which is killing them directly, as well as the bees are spreading 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 disappear. Our pets, wildlife and children end up absorbing the poison by just touching the lawn after.
Soil – Monocrops such as grass destroy the soil, which permaculture repairs the soil.
Clearly lawns are not the answer, even if you take the poisons out. The issues with pollinators from removing the other plants/weeds, wasting water, and the destruction of the soil are still problematic. Its time to grow food my friends!