Could our Lawns, be costing the Earth?


When is a lawn not green? when it's costing the earth to maintain

Lawns are becoming less and less environmentally friendly.  With increased irrigation costs and petrol prices going through the roof, how long can we afford to keep our lawns green?

If you took all the lawns in the US, they would cover the entire state of Mississippi

800 million gallons of fuel are used in the US per year to cut lawns which equates to 5% of the US’s total CO2 omissions, because lawn mowers are so inefficient!

2.5% of that 800 million gallons of fuel is spilt while trying to fill the lawn mower tanks, which is equivalent to one Exxon Valdez oil spill per year.

Statistics taken from a lecture from MIT given by Alex MacLean in March 2006

    • allterrainjane
    • June 14th, 2010

    great lot of factoids … we really need to remember remember remember the cost of the luxuries of the modern world ….”fossil fuel is everywhere dirty” says Bill McKibban. this quotation from his recent DailyKos diary ~ How the media are missing the real drama of the Oil Spill:

    “…Let’s assume that the oil from the Deepwater Horizon made it safely onshore and was refined and then burned in the gas tank of your car. What then? Well, the CO2 in the atmosphere would be doing at least as much damage as the oil spreading across the Gulf. Consider the following things that have happened since the Deepwater exploded:
    * Asia and Southeast Asia have each recorded their hottest temperatures ever — 129 degrees in Pakistan, and 117 in Burma. India is having the worst heatwave since the British started keeping records — people are dying by the hundreds. * We’ve seen the biggest rainstorms ever recorded in lots of places, from Nashville to Guatemala — the clear result of an atmosphere made 5% wetter because warm air holds more water vapor than cold. * Satellite data has shown that Arctic ice is now melting even faster than in the record year of 2007. * NASA has released new statistics showing that the past 12 months were the warmest on record and that 2010 is almost certain to set the title for the warmest calendar year yet.

    All of these, it seems to me, could be considered parts of the Deepwater Horizon story because they demonstrate that fossil fuel is everywhere dirty.”

    • Jules
    • June 25th, 2010

    In my capacity as a self employed landscaper and garden maintenance person I have spent this afternoon strimming a half acre meadow of long grass nettles and umbellifers.The cuttings will be gathered and burnt on a bonfire… I will be paid a fair wage. but what a pointless and destructive exercise. I feel increasingly that ALL gardening is essentially pointless and destructive. All the effort ,resources and time that goes into maintaining gardens that conform to an aesthetic that few understand and that has little meaning anyway. Its really that people want their garden to look “normal ” in some way just like their car their clothes and their hairstyle. As a professional gardener I find that what I do most in my days work is kill things . Insects “weeds” worms etc etc. And for what ? Just so Mr and Mrs X can glance at their gardens and feel that it looks “good” in some sort of way that they have seen on telly or in a mag.
    People need to be encouraged to be “with ” their garden areas rather than just look at them. Understand what is going on in the garden and at all levels .
    Perhaps its just another area of life that reflects humanity’s profound crazyness. 😦

  1. Interesting comments! Thanks Jules. My observation is that humans seem to have an intrinsic need to control their environment. To create order out of perceived chaos. Whereas if we look carefully – there is in fact an order there already. Which we are rather adept at meddling with. Nature of course is the most adept garden designer we have in my opinion..

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