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.

No comments: