Successfully reported this slideshow.
Your SlideShare is downloading. ×

Lawns are Bad

Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad

Check these out next

1 of 14 Ad
Advertisement

More Related Content

Advertisement

Lawns are Bad

  1. 1. Lawns are Bad: Why monoculture lawns must come to an end and bring forth a new biodiverse era! By Jacalyn Morgan
  2. 2. History of Lawns ● Earliest lawns were around medieval castles in France in Britain. ● Grazing animals, slaves, and low wage workers became groundskeepers for the wealthy. ● Became an indication of wealth and status. ● Immigrants from Europe brought both the idea of the lawn and grass lawn seeds to North America. ● Growth of the American suburbs created a boom in lawn culture.
  3. 3. The Traditional American Lawn ● In 2005, a NASA satellite study found that American grass lawns take up 49,000 sq. miles. Approx. equal to the size of Greece. ● Predominantly a monoculture ● Generally turf grass ● May have a single tree or some shrubs
  4. 4. Traditional American Lawns Need ● Water ● Pesticides ● Fertilizers ● Lawnmowers ● Maintenance
  5. 5. Mowing and Fossil Fuels ● Lawnmowers contribute to 4% of total US emissions ● Generally powered by 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines ● 800 gallons of of gasoline annually burned ○ 17 million gallons spilled ○ Equivalent of 6 million passenger cars running idle for a year ● 30% of fuel does not combust completely ○ This releases more soot and carbon monoxide, which is bad for human health ● Solutions: ○ Electric mowers ○ Reduce mowing frequency ○ Replace grass with low-growing alternative
  6. 6. Synthetic Fertilizers ● Homeowners use 3 million tons of fertilizer each year ● For every ton of nitrogen created to make fertilizer, 4-5 tons of carbon is added to the atmosphere ● Soil microbes turn excess nitrogen into nitrous gas, a greenhouse gas with 300 times the heat trapping ability of CO2 ● Fertilizers run off into local bodies of water and create toxic algae blooms ● Solution: ○ Let lawn clippings decompose on the lawn ○ Start a natural compost system
  7. 7. Effects of Pesticides ● (EPA) 70 million pounds of pesticides are used on lawns every year in the US ● Lawn pesticides kill 7 million birds a year ● Runs off into bodies of water and affects reproductive systems of fish ● Environmental book published in 1962 on the environmental harm caused by pesticides ● Caused a ban on DDT for environmental uses and started a movement that led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  8. 8. Water Consumption ● (EPA) Lawns consume 3 trillion gallons of water per year ● 90 gallons of water/sq. Foot of lawn ○ ½ is lost to evaporation ● Importance of conserving water: ○ Saves energy (filter, heating, and pumping) ○ Diverts less water from rivers, bays, and estuaries ○ Prepare for future droughts ○ 3% of water is freshwater, and only 0.5% is drinkable ○ Saving water is economical ● Solutions: ○ Replace lawns with plants that require less water
  9. 9. Lawns and Pollinators ● Traditional lawns destroy habitat for pollinators since grass is not a nectar source ● Pesticides contribute to a dwindling bee population ● Reducing the frequency of mowing your lawn by ½ could increase bee populations by 30% ● Solution: ○ Grow a pollinator garden in your yard
  10. 10. Does it makes sense to have lawns in Las Vegas? ● Southern Nevada Water Authority predicts that removing 4,000 acres of grass from Las Vegas would save 10 billion gallons of water annually. ● A sq. foot of grass in Las Vegas requires 73 gallons of water per year. ● Droughts in Nevada are already being exacerbated by climate change.
  11. 11. Alternatives to Grass Lawns ● Clover ○ Relatively drought tolerant ○ Little to no mowing ○ Attracts pollinators such as bees ○ Never needs fertilizer ○ Never needs herbicides ○ Immune to dog urine ○ Grows well in poor quality soil ● Native Wildflowers ○ Feeds pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds ○ Regulates flooding due to long roots ○ Prevents Erosion ○ No need for fertilizer
  12. 12. Examples of Biodiverse Lawns with Native Flora
  13. 13. Sources The History of Lawns | Planet Natural How To Make a Bee-Friendly Garden | BBC Gardeners World Magazine Advantages and Disadvantages of Clover Lawns - Dengarden Why grow wildflowers? | The Wildflower Garden (love-wildflowers.org.uk) Grassy lawns banned in Las Vegas to conserve water under one-of-a-kind state law (yahoo.com) Las Vegas declares turf war on lawns as drought worsens | Reuters The Case for Clover Lawns, the Environmentally Friendly Alternative to Grass - The New York Times (nytimes.com) Lawn Maintenance and Climate Change — PSCI (princeton.edu) Lawn Pesticides | Audubon New York The Problem of Lawns (columbia.edu)
  14. 14. Questions?

×