Lawns: Do we really need them?

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rethinking lawns


Another day it occurred to me that time as we know it doesn’t
exist in a lawn, since grass never dies or is allowed to flower
and set seed.  Lawns are nature purged of sex or death.  
No wonder Americans like them so much.

~ Michael Pollan, Second Nature 1991

For centuries plush green lawns both sprawling and well-manicured, have been a symbol of wealth and status. Village homes were adorned by vegetable and herb gardens while village greens and common spaces were often grasses and turfs maintained by goats and other grazing animals. 

In the latest 50 Shades of Green Divas episode, we consider whether the grass is indeed greener and explore some healthier more eco-friendly alternatives with Green Dude (Devo) Mike Nowak, Victoria Alzapiedi, and GD Spirit Pub‘s Julie Bond Genovese


a few facts about lawns



There are three different types of grass, bullrushes, sedges and grasses, the most common in the US is Poaceae-grasses. There are many invasive grasses, including Japanese Stilt grass, which can take over your lawn.


lawns post with pink flamingos

The most popular lawn decorations are pink flamingos. Shops in the US sell around 250,000 pink flamingo sets each year.  


Out of the 30 commonly used pesticides on lawns, 19 are linked with cancer or carcinogenicity, 13 are linked with birth defects, 21 with reproductive effects, 26 with liver or kidney damage, 15 with neurotoxicity, and 11 with disruption of the endocrine (hormonal) system.

Of those same 30 lawn pesticides, 17 are detected in groundwater, 23 have the ability to leach into drinking water sources, 24 are toxic to fish and other aquatic organisms vital to our ecosystem, 11 are toxic to bees, and 16 are toxic to birds. From a GD post by Mike Nowak.

Lawns are nature purged of sex or death. No wonder Americans like them so much. ~ @MichaelPollan… Click To Tweet


Golf courses are adding to the droughts in many states, as excessive amounts of water are used to keep a golf course green.


In the summer, about 238 gallons of water is used per household on lawns. Again, think of the waste of this precious commodity.




In the US we use over 7 billion gallons of water each year for outdoor watering! That’s 30% of our water supply!?! Read more in our post about water conservation.


Please check out our YouTube channel to see our short, funny and useful 1 GD Minute videos with recipes and DIY tutorials. Here’s a recent one…

And if you want to learn more about the content of this video, please read the corresponding post!


50 Shades of Green Divas, GD Ticker, Green Divas at Home, Green Divas in the Garden, Green Divas Radio Show, Wildlife Preservation

About the author / 

Green Diva Meg'

(aka Megan McWilliams Bouchard) is the founder of The Green Divas media brand and GDGD Radio Network (the first green and healthy living radio network on earth for the earth). She's the producer and host of the popular 50 Shades of Green Divas podcast (formerly the Green Divas Radio Show), and now the refreshing and inspiring GD Spirit Pub podcast. Green Diva Meg is a well-known green living expert and media personality.

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