Last year I was asked to come and speak to the Salem City Club. At the end there was time for some questions, and one person asked, “what is my social responsibility to keeping a lawn green or letting it die out over the summer?” The other panelists suggested that yes it is bad, selfish even to keep your lawn green. One even went so far to mention that rockscapes are a much “friendlier” alternative.
Then it came to me, the grass seed farmer. I suggested that there are right ways to keep a lawn green through the summer. For instance having the correct variety of grass planted, using the correct amount of water were good places to start. I also mentioned that if they did let their grass die I would be happy to sell them more the next year. But I disagreed with the rockscapes idea completely. I went into the benefits that include such things like their kids playing outside, cooling of the air around their homes, keeping the dust and debris down.
Fast forward to last week and I’m sitting at a grower meeting with a great seed company we grow for, Lebanon Turf and they start to talk about the benefits of grass, along with some great facts of why it’s important to have lawns!! So here are this grass seed farmer’s (totally “unbiased”)…
Top 5 Reasons to have a lawn:
1. A 50’x50′ lawn creates enough oxygen for a family of 4!
2. Lawns reduce runoff, 6 times more effectively than a wheat field.
3. Absorbs noise around your home.
4. Cools the air around your home. In fact the front lawns of 8 houses have the cooling effect of 70 tons. The average home cooling system has only 3-4tons.
5. Helps to control pollution by capturing dust and dirt (estimated up to 12 million tons annually).
I could also add that you are always supporting one of Oregon’s greatest industry of grass seed. But that’s where my unbiased opinion would end. For these reasons, along with increasing your homes value, encouraging kids to play outside and being able to sit and relax on a cool spot outside your home, why would you ever put a bunch of ugly rocks in your back yard?! So for all of those who feel pressured to let their lawn die, feel free to use these points to show that your environmental responsibility is not as cut and dry as some would like it to seem.
For more great information visit www.thelawninstitute.org.