Did you know lawn is the dominant land cover in most Canadian communities? Lawns are a great place to picnic and play sports, but way too many of them exist. In Canada, there are millions of lawns. Watering them accounts for about one-third of all residential water use.
Consider replacing some of your lawn with one or more of these nine alternatives. Converting even just a small strip of lawn into pollinator habitat can help bees and butterflies thrive.
Lawn history is rooted in wealth and status
In 17th century England, only rich landowners had lawns (a monoculture of short, manicured grass). Work once done by sheep increasingly shifted to human labour, especially closer to the house. Before lawnmowers, only a few could afford to hire people to scythe and weed their grass. Many homeowners today still aspire to this outdated cultural norm.
Switch from mow to grow
Given today’s reality…
- Shrinking value of superficial shows of material wealth
- Water shortages and expensive distribution
- Overreliance on inefficient gas-powered mowers (running an older one for an hour can produce as much air pollution as driving a new car 550 kilometres)
- Biodiversity harm from lawn maintenance chemical fertilizers and pesticides
- The health benefits of digging in dirt
- Declines in pollinator and other wildlife populations
- More passion for pesticide-free, local food
…are we ready to question, even ditch, the lawn habit?
Not sure where to start?
A variety of landscaping options await. Hire and consult with a company that specializes in native plants and edible landscapes. Or grab books and online resources, maybe find a local mentor or take a course to help you realize your dream.
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