Looks v Productivity and Health: Lawns
Lush, green lawns are nice to look at. They are the object of much affection for many American home owners. Maintenance of lawns eats up many hours and lots of money every year. I personally see well-manicured lawns as a waist of time, money, and space. Simple grass offers no substantial benefits to its owners (unless you’re raising animals and keep them as your lawn maintenance crew!). The space and time dedicated to perfect, green lawns could be put into more useful activities such as creating a garden. Food, herbs, and even some flowers have lots of benefits for people everywhere. I’ve seen a list of plants that excel at “eating” CO2 and releasing oxygen, thereby aiding the entire world and making a long-lasting, positive impact. Just imagine if everyone switched from growing lawns to growing gardens or other useful plants! The impact would be staggering!
The uselessness of lawns really bothers me, but what bothers me even more is what people put onto their lawns to make them perfect – chemicals. Just yesterday I was walking through some grass in my neighborhood and enjoying being barefoot, only to discover a sign posted that I should keep off the lawn because it had just been treated. This treated lawn has no weeds growing in it, is bright green and thick, but at what cost? A neighbor’s cat was rolling around in it and enjoying what should be a natural environment for a cat. Birds swooped down looking for the supper from the ground. Ducks waddled through the lawn on their way to the water, which will be full of chemicals every time the rain washes them down. Children want to dash through the lawn. Dogs frolic and play catch with their owners. They will come into contact with nasty, poisonous chemicals… all because we want perfect, green lawns. It’s ridiculous and unethical, in my opinion. Putting something like the aesthetics of a lawn over the health of people, animals, and the environment as a whole is deeply selfish.
P.S. Dandelions and other “weeds” are really pretty and may even have medicinal or edible properties!