Well-Manicured Wastelands

On Pharyngula, PZ Myers doesn’t just want cut your grass—he wants to tear it out by the roots and leave it to rot in the sun. He quotes J. Crumpler on The Roaming Ecologist, who calls lawns “sterile, chemically-filled, artificial environments […] that provide no benefits over the long term; no food, no clean water, no wildlife habitat, and no foundation for preserving our once rich natural heritage.” To make matters worse, lawnmower use adds carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, while beautiful bermuda grass requires a lot of H2O in a world that is increasingly insecure about water. During the depths of California’s drought—which has seen some relief from El Niño this year—many residents took a hard look at their lawns. On Significant Figures, Mathew Heberger writes, “many Californians could reduce their outdoor water use by 70% or more by landscaping with low water-use plants.” It’s not as if the alternative is a dirt patch in front of your house; there are a wide variety of plants you can grow with nutritional, ecological, and aesthetic value, that will be less of a middle finger to the planet.

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One thought on “Well-Manicured Wastelands

  1. Lawns are a loathsome obscenity. Sometimes I feel the high maintenance of them is intended to drain one’s life away so that the realtor can turn over the house quicker.

    I was peeing brown one summer; It turned out that I had given myself ‘white collar rhabdomyolysis’ (muscle destruction) pushing a people powered mower over way too much bermuda (a bane, precluding growing anything else in the vacinity) on hot days.

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