Good Oak News

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

lawns contriubute to global warming: shocking! (not really)

Recent research has landed yet another strike against our obsession with the lawn, once again pointing out that just because lawn is green, is not really "Green".

Numerous reports have pointed out that many of the pesticides and herbicides can be harmful to non-target plants and animals (including your pets and your family), and groundwater. Fertilizers are used in great excess on lawns and in-turn pollute streams and lakes. And nearly 1/3 of our fresh, clean, drinkable water is used to water lawns, and half of that is wasted, not even making it to the plants its meant to water (EPA). If you ask me, putting so many resources into a lawn is a waste to begin with.

Now, a recent study confirms the obvious: lawns contribute to global warming. Sure, lawn grass is a plant, all of whom take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere to make food. However, lawn roots are too shallow to store much carbon. Emissions from decaying lawn clippings, decomposing fertilizers, and (here's the biggie) emissions from lawn maintenance equipment are four times greater than what the lawn manages to store.

There are many great reasons to choose native plants instead of defaulting to a boring lawn. As far as global warming is concerned, native plants are powerful carbon sinks, with deep roots to draw carbon compounds deep into the soil where they can be stored for thousands of years. You don't need to run a lawn mower over them ever week either.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ahead of the Curve

I am attending the Mid-America Horticultural Trade Show this week to learn a bit more about the mainstream landscaping industry. The theme this year is "Sustainability for a Greener Tomorrow" and I am feeling pretty good that Good Oak is well ahead of the curve on this. Emphasis is on choosing plants that are well adapted for the site, reducing water use, reducing run-off, cleaning, cooling and slowing water before it reaches streams and sewers, soil heath, and inteligent, proactive design. The plantings, prairies, rain gardens, shoreline buffers (and more) that we install, all planted with native plants, already accomplish these goals. I'm looking forward to continue to lead the way in 2010 and beyond.

Location:S Indiana Ave,Chicago,United States