Happy Earth Day!

22 04 2010

Now, I have to start out by saying we didn’t do anything special for Earth Day.  If you haven’t figured it out already, we are definitely an “Earth Day is Everyday” kind of household.  We recycle, compost, drive fuel-efficient cars, etc.  The amount of trash we produce is so small I seriously toyed with the idea last year of stopping our garbage pick-up altogether, but it would have required a lot more composting on my part, which is hard to do in the winter here.  And winter here is most of the year.  Anyway, what I really wanted to do is just share this great article from the New York Times.

The Dandelion King (read it; really, it’s good.)

Yeah, I know, it’s just an opinion piece, but that’s what it’s about–changing people’s opinions.  Who says a monochromatic green lawn is the ultimate ideal?  We have a neighbor who has dandelions, grape hyacinths, and several other plants I can’t identify in her lawn.  And you know what?  It’s really pretty.  We have a healthy amount of clover in our lawn, and it’s a nitrogen-fixing plant, which reduces the amount of fertilizer your lawn needs.  That, in turn, reduces the amount of fertilizer that runs off into our water supply.  Plus, it provides food for bees!  (And bees could use the help!)

Like the author of that article, I once thought a “perfect” lawn was great.  But I didn’t know how much effort went into keeping it that way.  I think a lawn with grass and flowers would be lovely and low maintenance, and much more earth-friendly.  If everyone agreed, think of the time, energy, and chemicals we could save, without having to worry about offending the neighbors!

Here is a craft we made with flowers we picked, mostly out of the yard.

Dandelions, clover, forsythia, other unnamed flowers... a pretty assortment!

The more time I spend outside (now that the snow is gone), the more I like our biodiverse lawn.  I am hoping to keep it chemical-free (we will have a crawler this summer, after all!), but with our concern over resale value of the house, it might not be possible.  If only we could all embrace the “mountain meadow” look instead of the golf course aesthetic!

(I can’t find any nice pictures not subject to copyright, so I refer you to google.)



One response

25 04 2010

Well, I certainly agree that using chemicals for a “golf-course” looking lawn is not the ideal, I struggle, because I really, REALLY like to go barefoot and I want my kids to enjoy growing up barefoot as well but when the grass is left to it’s own devices, it gets very prickly. Not fun for feet.

So I talked to our gardener about helping me acheive a soft lawn without using a bunch of chemicals and he is completely on it!

I will let you know how that goes.

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