Five Eco-Friendly Reasons to Love Your Lawn:
1. Grass is visually and environmentally important for our communities
Lush green lawns are both beautiful and functional. Grass areas are naturally calming and stress relieving, and the visual appeal contributes to better quality of life, improved mental health and greater community pride. In urban areas, grass is particularly important for absorbing noise, providing a healthy link with nature and deterring littering. Grass also plays an important role in our ecosystem offering multiple environmental benefits that range from cooing the atmosphere to its ability to control soil erosion.
2. Grass is a natural barrier to weeds and competing grasses
If you’ve ever had a vegetable garden or flower bed, you know how weeds flourish in bare dirt. Give them half a chance and they’ll take over. Untended ground is soon overrun with scraggly weeds. If you’re looking for a relatively low-maintenance landscaping option for an area of bare ground, consider grass – it provides surprisingly effective weed control along with a host of other benefits not offered by paving, gravel or rocks.A thick lawn also discourages the growth of weeds, so maintaining healthy grass will go a long way toward keeping unwanted plants at bay. For example, allowing the grass blades to grow a bit taller will encourage the development of longer roots, as will deeper but less frequent watering. Bare spots and frequent shallow watering can give weeds a foothold. But grass will easily crowd out weeds when you maintain the conditions that favor your lawn.
3. Grass captures harmful carbon and releases oxygen into the environment
We frequently hear about the value of planting trees to capture carbon and produce oxygen, but grass also absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen. A lawn of just 50 square feet releases enough oxygen to meet the needs of a family of four.
4. Grass has a natural cooling effect on the earth’s atmosphere
Remember playing catch on the lawn barefoot, and how if the ball rolled off the lawn you’d have to run as fast as you could across the driveway to keep from burning your feet? That temperature difference didn’t just impact your feet. On hot days, grass is much cooler than cement, asphalt and dirt, which trap heat. A Mississippi State University study showed that when the temperature of a sidewalk is 100°F, the temperature of the lawn next to it will remain near 75°F.Grass doesn’t just stay cool to the touch – it also cools the atmosphere. The front lawns of eight average-size homes have the same cooling effect as the air-conditioning systems of about 20 homes. How does grass do this? Each blade acts as an evaporative cooler, and by transpiring water to cool itself, grass also cools the environment. This cooling effect can reduce the energy requirements for air-conditioning in buildings surrounded by lawns.
5. Grass can help maintain soil health and prevent harmful erosion
Grass helps enrich the soil by generating organic matter that is broken down by microorganisms, worms and other creatures. Leaving the grass clippings on the lawn after you mow adds extra nutrients that will be recycled back into the soil. Grass is also one of the most efficient and inexpensive ways to prevent erosion caused by wind and water. Thanks to the extensive root systems of the individual grass plants, lawns bind the soil more effectively than other ground covers. A thick lawn effectively absorbs rainfall, virtually eliminating any runoff.