As the western drought continues in America, California has had to limit some counties to watering their lawn once per week starting in June. This has raised the question, why is America so obsessed with lawn care to begin with?
And there’s no better demonstration of this than a list of the most irrigated crops. You might think wheat or corn would be at the top, but the truth is, it’s grass.
For centuries, a healthy green lawn is a symbol of prosperity in America. The lawn itself serves no purpose other than making the owners feel better about their property. However, should they actually feel good about having a green lawn?
The truth is a green lawn is anything but green. They use a tremendous amount of water and are regularly trimmed by lawnmowers that burn fossil fuels. What this means is that your green lawn is actively working against a green future.
As water becomes scarcer due to climate change, we need to change that.
The Type of Grass Being Used Is A Problem
The prominence of green lawns predate America and was visible in Great Britain before colonizing the US.
Colonists took that outlook with them, and it has been engrained in the culture. However, they landed on the east coast, where it rains quite often. This means that you don’t really need a lot of irrigation and lawn care to keep it green.
Yet, when the colonists expanded from the east to the west, that tradition was brought into an area where rainfall was much lower. Not only that, they used non-native grass called Kentucky Bluegrass, which is a type of grass that requires a lot of water.
As you can imagine, this isn’t a good combination. In a climate where rain is uncommon and grass requires a lot of water, it’s a great combo if your goal is to drain your water supply as fast as possible. And that’s exactly what is happening.
A typical household will use 75% of their water usage to keep their lawn green. It’s not something the region can afford anymore.
Cutting Out Lawn Care Can Save A Lot of Money
It’s no secret that lawn care can get really expensive.
First, water is not free. The average water bill in the United States is 72.93 dollars. While some households can get around this by having their own well, not everyone is so fortunate.
Like just about everything else, the cost of water is going up. Cutting out daily watering of your grass can save you a lot of money every month.
And if you don’t water it regularly, it will not grow as fast. This brings us to the second main cost of lawn care, mowing the lawn. You have two options. You can buy your own lawnmower and cut it yourself, or hire someone to do it for you.
In either case, it costs money on a monthly basis. And it can add up quickly if your lawn grows fast.
If you’re trying to live sustainably, it’s time to let your lawn die. It helps the environment and cuts costs.
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.