Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What Are We Putting Into Our Lawns to Keep Them Green?

The headline of today's Mark Bittman column is "Lawns Into Gardens," which is a damn good idea for many reasons. But I won't pontificate and tell everyone to exchange their pesticide-thirsty lawns for food-producing gardens. That, admittedly, would call zero people to action.

However, I'll ask one simple question that hopefully half of you will think about for 10 seconds or so: What is going into your lawn to keep it green? 

Click here to read Mark Bittman's column, which brings up some good points.

Here are the first three paragraphs to whet your appetite:

"The seed catalogs have arrived, and for the roughly 15 percent of Americans who appreciate the joys and rewards of growing some of their own crops, this is a more encouraging sign than Groundhog Day or even the reporting of pitchers and catchers to spring training.

"Yet several times a year we hear of a situation like the one in Orlando, where the mayor claims to be striving to make his city green while his city harasses homeowners like Jason and Jennifer Helvenston for planting vegetables in their front yard, threatening to fine them $500 a day — for gardening. The battle has been raging for months, and the city’s latest proposal is to allow no more than 25 percent of a homeowner’s front yard to be planted in fruits and vegetables.

"As if gardens were somehow an official eyesore, or inappropriate. (Jason Helvenston, my hero, said: 'You’ll take my house before you take my vegetable garden.') If you want to plant a lawn, that’s fine, though it’s a waste of water and energy, both petrochemical and human. Nor are lawns simply benign: many common lawn chemicals are banned in other countries, because most if not all are toxic in a variety of ways. My guess is that 100 years from now, lawns will be about as common as Hummers."

1 comment:

Noel said...

My first thought was, apart from industries related to lawn, who is going to gain from such stupid regulation? In other words, I am more keen in finding out lobbyist behind this regulation so that I make sure that I avoid giving them my business.

In all reality, I have a list of companies, I avoid giving my business. That does not mean, they do not get my business but they are my last option. For e.g. I will go to McDonald (and similar) only if I am stuck in the middle of nowhere