Monday, July 7, 2008

Cutting the Lawn

Manicured lawns are highly overrated. I don't understand the pride people feel -- for some reason mostly men -- from a dandelion-free yard. Gardening is traditionally a woman's area, arranging pretty flowers, etc. (Although I do know that many men enjoy it as well.) But when it comes to lawns, it's usually the man out front positioning the sprinkler just so.

That's how it was when I was growing up. I also remember ChemLawn visiting my house regularly and leaving their white flags behind to alert us kids to stay off the grass.

Now, though, I'm raising the white flag. Please no more chemical warfare! It's absurd to wage war against a few yellow weeds by using carcinogens. Sure, you don't have any dandelions in your yard, big, macho man, but your kids can't play on their own grass either.

How about enjoying more of your summer by not obsessing so much about your lawn? It's not perfect? That's ok! Nature is perfect in its own way; let it be.

To conserve water and reduce the time you mow, consider planting native plants in parts of your lawn.

To mow the grass you do have in an environmentally friendly (and more neighborly) way, get a reel mower, a lawn mower that runs solely on human energy -- no gas, no electric.

I only discovered the existence of these within the last year or so. But from my "test drive" last weekend using my boyfriend's and from reading reviews online, I'm buying one as soon as I have grass to cut. I wasn't inhaling fumes as I walked behind it. I didn't need earplugs to protect my hearing. And I didn't disturb any neighbors -- the reel mower is quiet.

Rethink how you view your lawn and how your behavior affects the environment -- and you.

(Photo courtesy of

No comments: