August 21, 2009

Grass roots

Discontent is the engine of progress.

I'm not happy with lawns. Mandatory high-maintenance monoculture zones. From Public Garden, Vol. 24, No 2:
Lawn is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions in most gardens due to the amount of energy involved in using mowers and other power tools, pumping water for irrigation, and manufacturing the fertilizers and pesticides commonly applied to turf.
Speaking of engines, gas-powered lawnmowers are particularly nasty polluters. A 2001 study by Roger Westerholm, Stockholm University, stated,
Air pollution from cutting grass for an hour with a gasoline powered lawn mower is about the same as that from a 100-mile automobile ride.
The EPA estimates 17 million gallons of oil and gasoline are spilled each year in the process of fueling mowers.

Yes, green lawns are inextricably bound to suburban culture. Yes, there's a ton of industry developed around lawn maintenance. Yes, your riding lawnmower is bigger and better than your neighbor's. No, these are not good reasons for idle contentment with the grassy status quo.

Pull up your lawn and plant a garden, for victory over stagnant, deleterious institutions.


  1. Veggies or THYME! I was just reading this in the newspaper yesterday:

  2. I've seen elfin thyme planted in a driveway, it's pretty tough stuff.

  3. Oh yeah, I'll copy and paste for you this time (no pun) link w/ html is way cooler.