Is Your Lush, Green Lawn Killing Mother Nature?

Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown
Jim Hightower's Radio Lowdown
Is Your Lush, Green Lawn Killing Mother Nature?

Sometimes, little things can be a big deal. For example, in considering ways to help protect Mother Earth from global environmental rampages by us humans, look out your window.

In many cities and most suburbs, chances are you’re looking at a lawn – a grass-carpeted yard that looks almost the same as the one next door, the one next to it, etc. Some see a lush expanse of green grass as the ultimate in landscaping beauty, and some even consider a well-manicured lawn to be a measure of one’s moral character.

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Beauty and piety aside, though, the spread and intensification of “lawn culture” has become an environmental extravagance that is already unsustainable in whole sections of our country, and it adds up to a steadily-increasing burden on Earth’s essential resources. Grass itself is natural, but keeping it alive across thousands of square miles is not, for it requires a deluge of chemicals and endless rivers of water applied again and again, yard after yard, trying to keep these plots green. And – O, the irony! – their “green” includes eliminating bees, butterflies… and, well, nature. One statistic tells the tale: Americans use more than 10 times more poison per acre than all of America’s farmers use on their crops.

Just glance around you, and you’ll see the grass lawn imperative at work throughout your community – it surrounds local schools, “greens-up” corporate complexes, spreads across college campuses, forms miles of golf courses, etc.

This is not a diatribe against grassy plots, which can be natural joys. But let’s get real, get creative, and get in touch with the full balance and beauty of nature. You can promote ground cover sanity right where you live with native plants, xeriscaping, organic methods, rain gardens, and “re-wilding” your yard with things like prairie grass. For help, go to

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