You don’t have to look far in this day and age to find people arguing that lawns are, in general, a bad thing. The case they make is, often, persuasive, and it’s hard to disagree with some of the points they argue. It’s likely that some of us have listened, heard the debate, and decided to do something about it, replacing our lawns with something else.
But if the case against lawns has been made, what’s the response from those of us who want to keep ours, and believe that there is good reason for doing so?
It’s hard to find examples of that case being committed to paper or to the digital equivalent, so here is an attempt at doing just that. Before you make any decision to get rid of your lawn, here are some responses to the biggest arguments against lawns.
They have a negative impact on the environment
Let’s just say that a lawn can negatively impact the environment – that is absolutely true. If you over-water it, which many people do, and use harsh pesticides and weedkillers to keep it green, then your lawn may have a detrimental effect on the environment.
But if you take a more ecological approach to lawn care, your lawn can act as a bulwark against flooding and run-off, and actually have a positive impact on the local environment. Compared with hardscaping, which is often an alternative to a lawn, your green square can also keep ambient temperatures lower.
They provide no practical benefit
As we’ve already noted above, lawns absorb much of the heavy rainfall that happens every year, and if you collect some more of that rainfall you can also keep your lawn watered completely naturally.
Additionally, your lawn will absorb huge amounts of CO2 and put out enough oxygen for a family of four. Breathable air is no small thing, and areas with more natural oxygen are understood to have a positive impact on mental health. They’re also a cool place for pets and other creatures to have a rest during a hot summer.
They use a lot of unnecessary resources
Petrol mowers contribute a terrifying 5% of the harmful emissions in the USA in an average year. That’s troubling, no debate. However, the push mower is making a comeback and it uses no fossil fuels at all – just person power!
For sure, it’s not the leisurely lawn mowing job that has been a Sunday afternoon tradition for decades, but it’s a good workout and it’s carbon neutral. One word of advice – you’ll need to mow at least once a week, because push mowers work better on shorter grass.
They take the place of more useful garden plants
It doesn’t need to be an either/or thing. In fact, it’s better if it isn’t. A well-maintained lawn can play its part around the outer reaches of your garden, while more practical plants and crops are grown closer in.
You can have a veg and herb garden close to the kitchen door, really crunching down those food miles, and wildflowers scattered elsewhere, benefiting bee viability in the local area. You can even plant a tree, really boosting the flood defenses and CO2 absorption. A little diversity in the garden is best for everyone.