Hello everyone and welcome back to The Fire where I talk about topics ranging from biodiversity to how to be happy with yourself and your life. Today I want to talk about getting rid of lawns and replacing them with meadows. Yes…I’m speaking in general terms.
Most lawns in the United States are a hinderance to biodiversity, a component of the health of life that is so essential to us all. We should work to make them more scarce. Based on observations made by NASA and other research organizations lawns are accounted for using as much as half of the household water supply in some areas; wasting resources and money.
The pesticides and preservatives that are used for maintaining them are also quite damaging to the different organisms, large and small, that call that place home. Let’s not also forget the pollution from lawnmowers and weed-whackers that we use so our lawns look presentable and tamed. With these reasons in mind I’ve convinced myself that having a lawn should be considered a thing of the past.
When I was a teenager I lived in a relatively nice house with a decent sized lawn. This lawn took hours for me to mow, rake and weed-whack and my father used to pay me for my services. Most of the time I would pour diluted gasoline into the gas tank so that we’d get more volume out of the fuel. Hours after attending to our lawn I would come back in the house very tired with my jeans carrying a green fade that started from the bottom up from all the dead grass I was wading through. Needless to say the lawn looked nice and I was proud of my work. I always hated walking through tall grass with leaves chunked on the ground in say, the woods, so the effort I made to maintain a neatly cut lawn was it’s own reward. However, I don’t think I’ll be doing quite the same thing to my lawn once I get one of my own. The lawnmower that I used (for four hours somedays) would burn more gas than I expected averaging out to equivalent of driving 100 miles or more in my car. As we all know, once that sea ice up in the arctic disappears we’re screwed (Chase, D News on YouTube), and there I was, an ignorant youth contributing to this problem for the almighty dollar.
Having a well trimmed lawn might look aesthetically pleasing, but it’s proving to be a thing of the past as more and more of us are moving into a green future where we all cater to Mother Nature’s desires whether we like it or not.
It’s been reported that “Turf Grass is the most irrigated crop in the United States” and uses about half of the household amount of water. But not only does this turf grass require a good deal of maintenance it also promotes monoculture, which is vulnerable to problems. A basic lawn keeps certain species of bacteria, bugs, and birds out because the conditions aren’t suitable habitats for them. By allowing different kinds of plants to grow on your property, which aren’t invasive, you are setting a precedence for biodiversity to take effect. As different kinds of grasses and flowers grow in your lawn biodiversity goes up and the guilty conscious disappears, a win-win situation 😀
Meadows are also good for sustaining soil and improving water quality. One important thing to keep in mind when you’re planting something of any kind is to have clear knowledge of what kind of soil you have. Different kinds of soils such as sand, silt, clay, peat, and saline are all composed of different minerals and chemical makeups which affect things like how much water they can store. When the soil can naturally store more water the rocky makeup of the soil will filter it creating very clean ground water. The grasses and flowers in your meadow are what help hold this rich soil together, thus creating a comfortable thriving ecosystem for organisms other than just, well, you.
It’s important to live and let live in this life, so why not do just that. Meadows, in a way, are celebrations of life and are cheaper to maintain. It’s kind of a no brainer. I’d go with a meadow. Or even perhaps a bald lawn with patches because there’s not enough sunlight to support plants on the ground. That’s fine too. We just need to get back to natural while can so that life may thrive on planet earth as it was intended.