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.

A lawn’s purpose? Purely decorative.

Given today’s reality…

  • Water shortages
  • The health benefits of digging in dirt
  • Our passion for clean, local food
  • A desire to waste less
  • How busy we say we are
  • No need to show how much money you make

… are we ready to question, even ditch, the lawn habit?

What to do instead of seeding, mowing and aerating your lawn?

Plant a pollinator garden

If you don’t plant for pollinators, who will? Anyone can provide essential habitat for bees, butterflies, moths, beetles, hummingbirds and other pollinators.

Design a rain garden

A rain garden helps minimize the problem of storm water runoff — hundreds of litres of rainwater streaming off hard surfaces like roofs, roads and driveways. For example, shallow beds 15- to 30-centimetres (six- to 12-inches) deep filled with native plants will filter up to 90 per cent of pollutants. Rain gardens also allow water to drain deep enough into the soil to help recharge groundwater supplies.

Plant a tree

A team of researchers (including the David Suzuki Foundation’s own Faisal Moola) found that 10 more trees on a city block has self-reported health benefits comparable to a $10,000 salary raise (so you can feel richer without showing off your lawn), moving to a neighbourhood with a $10,000 higher median income or being seven years younger.

The study, conducted in Toronto, also found that people who live on a tree-lined block are less likely to report high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease or diabetes.

Xeriscape

It’s a fancy word for water-wise gardening. Use up to 50 per cent less water by xeriscaping or landscaping with native plants better adapted to your area. Our yards can become a lot more like the nature once was.

A variety of front yard landscaping options await you!

Queen of Green image that reads: David Suzuki's Queen of Green gives you tips and recipes to live sustainably.