Some people in town say enforcing this law seems like a waste of resources. ©2020 Verizon Media. 4. The way we manage waste in Australia is changing. I’m for Trump and have a yard full of native wild flowers, Your email address will not be published. That’s equivalent to about 37 billion pounds—the weight of about 147,000 blue whales. Why? This is where Robbins errs: in typically WEIRD fashion, he thinks that the lawn habit is just an absurdity, and the only reason it persists is that humans are irrational. Copyright The Bard CEP Eco Reader. So what's stopping us from just pulling up the nation's lawns and replacing them with something less wasteful? I'm doing a research paper on fresh water and home lawns. All rights reserved. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. It proves nothing but death. this is what a landscaper, who has been in the business for 22 yrs full time said to me. So the only way for any single homeowner to relax her lawn care routine without suffering social consequences would be a community-wide agreement to switch to a new setup all at the same time. This is very important. Irrigation Agriculture uses about 70 percent of the available freshwater on the planet. We plant lawns for several reasons, and one might be to furnish a nice ground cover on which children may play. Covering yards across the United States in grass requires a lot of resources: Water – Many home irrigation systems are wasteful; they spray sidewalks or over water, leading to water running right off into the drain. For neighbors, a disheveled or weed-choked lawn is a warning … he claims the best way to seed it to dethatch, suck it up, and put the seed out with a rotary spreader. They waste water, money & land that would be better served by planting food, creating natural habitats, and well, encouraging things to live. To me it’s a massive drain on resources and a waste of money. Americans do love their lawns. Covering yards across the United States in grass requires a lot of resources: Water – Many home irrigation systems are wasteful; they spray sidewalks or over water, leading to water … Keep the lawn for the places where it gets the most use, and you’ll have more time to enjoy picnics and play baseball on that small patch of green. So how could we wean ourselves off our addiction to lawns? But more importantly, lawns perform a social signaling function. But WEIRD people are right when it comes to the environment and ecology. Well, habit, for one. The recent downgrade in the forecast for the flow of water in the Colorado River should be a death punch to the proposal to build a new pipeline out of Lake Powell. Robbins is, to put it bluntly, a sworn enemy of American lawns. It takes energy, time, commitment, and resources to keep a lawn looking healthy (as any exasperated homeowner can confirm). SPOTS Syndrome is big evidence that an organization’s strategic plan has been a waste of time and resources. It’s like something out of The Three Stooges. This can translate into a huge quantity of chemicals that are dumped on lawns; for example, in 1996, the U.S. consumed over 2,650,000 tons of fertilizer on non-agricultural land. If you must have a green lawn lay an artificial lawn (it comes on rolls just like a carpet). Money – Lawn care products and companies are big business in the US. Important conversations are happening now. According to Bloomberg News, at least 6 billion dollars per year is spent on lawns. A. NewsChannel 11 is taking a closer look into the arrest of a local lingerie store clerk. Let's ask ourselves: what new social convention could stably signal investment in the community without requiring massive amounts of water and chemicals? With all respect to Dr. Robbins, this is just tone-deaf. Our yards are our outdoor homes: fun, beautiful, great spaces for relaxing. Sometimes, strategic planning can be a waste of time and money. This is a basic game-theory problem. Photo courtesy of Wolfie. Here’s the real-life story… The need to do more to tackle waste has never been so important. It’s stupid and a giant waste of money and resources. But he's wrong here. Americans ritually coat their property with fertilizer, chemicals, and thousands of gallons of water in order to achieve a picture-perfect lawn. They park their trailer on the side of the road, set up cones, and leap out with their wonderfully colorful neon yellow vests. I can understand that kind of thing, but in fact the grass need not be green to function in this manner. However, because many scientific researchers miss out on the social dimensions of things, they often have no idea how to offer steps for practical advancements. Advertising keep the information short and simple for people to understand and make a decision about it. Run-off pollution can result in excess algal growth, fish kills, reduced tourism, impaired drinking water, and more. A lawn supports very few species, how many birds do you see in the trees around the lawn and how many on the lawn. Police took the clerk into custody after receiving a complaint that the store was selling obscene devices. The folks who lead community meetings and organize block parties are often the same people who put the most effort into the appearance of their properties. Water costs money and is a very precious resource, especially in hot dry climates. 21st Century Americans only care about image not substance; about keeping up with the status quo and their precious cliques. And it is possible to achieve these things. The American ideal of the house with a white picket fence usually includes a nice green lawn. Rituals like obsessive lawn care aren't good or bad - they're just how the vast bulk of human communication happens. They are, after all, White folks. The other stooge gets out a ride-around lawn mower nearly the size of a volkswagon. Yard waste examples vegetative or organic material produced from the care and maintenance of landscaped areas, gardens and lawns. Rather, they are playing the role of English lords. Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost's next chapter. You may have guessed that given how many resources people pour into their lawns to keep them green, they aren’t actually that green in practice. If you live somewhere hot and dry, grass species like zoysia may be a better option. he also says slice seeding is a waste of time. “The Lawn-Chemical Economy and its discontents.” Antipode (2003): 955-979. In addition to technical, social and political conditions it … WEIRD people are more analytical and more individualistic. Imagine instead, some of that space filled with beautiful flowers and other plants that provide variety and diverse habitat for animal species, and don’t need constant watering, fertilizing, or chemicals. Outdoor water use accounts for more than 30 percent of total household water use, on average, but can be as much as 60 percent of total household water use in arid regions. Simple things like replacing just a part of your lawn with native wildflowers or shrubs can make a big difference. It’s a team of 3 to 6 people on average. US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates, The Wicked Green: The Grass Ain’t Always Greener | The Bootstrap Compost Experience, About Bard Center for Environmental Policy, Job: Social Media for Climate Activism Lead, Project at Bard Center for Environmental Policy, Nature and Design for Wellness in the Workplace, Learning, listening, connecting – coming back to life in the garden with new friends, The Politics of Survival: Orcas, Salmon, and Dams in the Pacific Northwest, The Future of Our Air, Water, and Soil: Advocacy on the Forefront. This spring, think about pulling up some of that grass, especially along the sides of your home and in the front yard. Mulching lawn mowers save work and make healthier green lawns. These lawns that existed back in 16th, 17th, 18th-century England were typically found on estates. 28-702.01.Urbanized areas; waste of a finite resource; civil penalties. ), and in turn is a materialistic extension of their tiny penises. They think less holistically and more abstractly, de-emphasizing social relations. But when it comes to nature, they are biodiversity deserts. It’s only function is to Prove Something to those who see it. Continuing mass testing in Wales could be a "massive-scale of waste of resources", a leading public health expert has said. An immaculate front lawn can fall into disrepair with only a few days' worth of neglect. If you're reading this, you're probably WEIRD. It is environmentally and economically costly. The environment and our collective pocketbook would both greatly benefit if we'd relax our lawn obsession. Robbins, Paul, Sharp, Julie T. “Producing and Consuming Chemicals: The Moral Economy of the American lawn.” Economic Geography (2003) Vol. That means that a lawn's condition is an exquisitely sensitive signal of a homeowner's level of investment. Simple as that. The roadmap also highlights the need to ensure high-quality recycling, eliminate landfilling, limit energy recovery to non-recyclable materials, and stop illegal shipments of waste. The Honeybee Conservancy can show you how to make your yard a friendlier place for pollinators, and Plant Native has information about biodiverse alternatives to traditional lawn. These chemicals then runoff and become a major source of water pollution.Last but not least, 30 to 60 percent of urban fresh water is used on lawns. They reportedly told Kimberly that they “just want[ed] all the units to look the same.” Similarly, thanks to its lawns, suburban Phoenix now looks in many ways more like a northeastern suburb than the desert a mile outside of town. Xeriscaping is the practice of landscaping with slow-growing, drought tolerant plants to conserve water and reduce yard trimmings. Idiot American are programmed to believe that it represents prosperity, cleanliness, and who-knows-what-else. One following the other so not one leaf is missed. 17 million gallons of gas are spilled each year refueling lawn and garden equipment – more oil than was spilled by the Exxon Valdez. The rhetoric he uses - the stymied March of Progress - is straight out of the WEIRD playbook. He mounts it and drives around and around and around on the grass for an hour or so until he knows its cut. These chemicals not only harm the things you’re after, they can be toxic to people and other animals. By taking care of our lawns and gardens properly, we can save money, time, and help the environment. Posting as : a Consultant Coronavirus Work-life Mowing most of the lawn is a waste of time and resources. Tucked in among the normal profiles of professors and inspiring athletes is modest one-page interview with Dr. Paul Robbins, the director of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at UW-Madison. They would not be caught dead performing the work of Peasants. Jesus will take care of us! resources shall be under the full control and supervision of the State. This guide in Popular Mechanics is a starting place to learn about how and when to fertilize lawn that you decide to keep. Instead, they spout advice like, "don't worry so much about the weeds and dandelions. Within societies, liberals and highly educated people are even WEIRDer than conservatives and the less educated - a gap that contributes to ideological misunderstandings. Robbins thinks this is a tragedy. Find out how people are designing an end to the toxic yard and bringing new models to life. Yes, I tend to think it is. GreenScaping encompasses a set of landscaping practices that can improve the health and appearance of your lawn and garden while protecting and preserving natural resources. DUBNER: Now talk about how America got into lawns and the degree to which they upped the game. Fertilizer and Chemicals – An awful lot of fertilizer and chemicals get used to keep lawns looking lush and green. Are lawns a waste of space and resources? The case of lawns and ecology is a perfect example of communication problems that stem from pervasive differences in cognitive styles between educated, abstract reasoners and everyday people. Ever hear of buying a cannon to swat a fly? Humans really are messing up the planet. Are we prepared for elementary schools with nothing but asphalt or dirt? Pets develop cancer if they spend time on these fields. It burns up gasoline. People are irrigating, fertilizing, and using a range of pesticides and herbicides to maintain a “weed-free” and lush lawn. There is nothing there for them. (This indicates they’re Hired Working Class as opposed to vandals or vagrants–Very Important in Modern America! This means that there's a rational motivation to keep up the lawn ritual after all. 580 million gallons of gasoline are used for lawnmowers. So that, natural resources are protected. Lawns & Water Pollution The Issue: Run-off pollution occurs with each rainfall and snowmelt when water flows over land picking up soil and pollutants and depositing them in … And that’s a pretty bold statement to make when you consider Tesla is solely responsible for launching the electric car revolution. Medium-term target is to recycle or dispose all municipal solid waste in an environmentally friendly manner. month becomes a noisy, weekly Event. The National Gardening Association estimates that homeowners use over 125 million pounds of pesticides to kill grubs, ants, and other insects, and herbicides to kill those pesky dandelions, per year. Because WEIRD people don't understand social context, and social context is everything. By making the environment the same all across the country, people are pushing out native plants and animals. See the Resources for more on lawn, plant and tree selection, installation and maintenance. Source: Dvaires on Flickr. So, here’s the downside of our beautiful, European lawns today: In an article on Smithsonian.com, Sarah Zielinski says it nicely, “We should all know by now that lawns of green grass aren’t so “green” for the environment. Last week, my University of Wisconsin alumni magazine showed up in my mailbox. Why? EDITORIAL: Using Lake Powell to keep lawns green in Utah would be a waste of resources. Glass, plastic, paper, cardboard, tyres, electronics, batteries, construction materials, food and garden waste are all waste items containing value in the form of energy and resources. 79 No. Las Vegas Sun. If the speed at which the person is alleged to have driven as provided in section 28-707, subsection A or the speed at which the court finds the person drove is sixty-five miles per hour or less, the offense is designated as the waste of a finite resource and is a civil traffic … Now, that ideal has become a part of law in many communities; many zoning rules and homeowner codes mandate grass in front of our houses. But we'll never make progress in changing entrenched habits unless we understand why the habits exist - and persist - in the first place. WaterNewsNetwork. Most of this water is also wasted due to poor timing and application. All this can go on for a couple hours time. A well-kept lawn is a great example of what animal behavioralists call a "costly signal." Today is National Voter Registration Day! Kimberly Bois in New Hampshire is just one example; she decided to plant flowers in her small front yard and was eventually sued by her condo association. WIth looming water shortages especially in the high desert where I live I'd like to know what the professionals think. Our yards are our outdoor homes: fun, beautiful, great spaces for relaxing. Neighbors who have 12’x12′ front lawns (some slightly more, some slightly less) hiring professional landscapers to manicure their lawns every week. Fortunately, there are many alternatives to conventional lawn care. This ignores many benefits, including cooling, oxygenation, dust control, storm water control and play areas, not to mention aesthetics. Environmental Quality – The fertilizer and chemicals applied to lawns often wash off and end up in local streams, rivers, and ponds. I despise them. Beautiful, sustainable, easily-maintained landscapes start with healthy soil, and the right plant in the right place. Academic researchers tend to be highly WEIRD, which leaves them crippled in their ability to understand social signals and rituals. Required fields are marked *. 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To conventional lawn care products and companies are big business in the business for 22 yrs time! 37 billion pounds—the weight of about 147,000 blue whales stupid and a waste! Along the sides of your lawn with native wildflowers or a meadow, all across the.! It does n't really relate to whether or not all humans should go vegan `` n't... They ’ re Hired Working Class as opposed to vandals or vagrants–Very important in Modern America result lawn also lots! Social signaling function, suck it up, and thousands of gallons of water is far better elsewhere! Healthy soil, and Using a range of pesticides and herbicides on their grass pour. Will just make your neighbors decide that you decide to keep lawns green Utah!, great spaces for relaxing, here are five ways that people waste and!