Monday, March 3, 2014

Gimme Green - America's Obsession With Lawns

Lawns are undeniably an American symbol. But what do they really symbolize? Pride and prosperity? Or waste and conformity?

“Gimme Green” is a humorous look at the American obsession with the residential lawn and the effects it has on our environment, our wallets, and our outlook on life.

It's estimated that Americans use approximately 50% of their household water on their yards. By examining the social, commercial, and environmental pressures surrounding the green grass aesthetic, we begin to understand how a non-edible, resource-intensive plant could become our nation's largest irrigated crop.

Spanning a wide range of perspectives and locales, and employing an engaging blend of gravity and levity, this documentary short examines Americans' true motives for maintaining a lush green lawn in their yards.

Here's a few pieces of information you'll glean from watching the film:

•  Americans use more than 30,000 tons of pesticides on their lawns every year.

•  The National Cancer Institute says that children in homes using lawn pesticides have a 6.5 greater chance of developing leukemia.

•  Of the 30 most used lawn pesticides, 17 are routinely detected in groundwater and the EPA finds that nearly half of the 30 pesticides are probably or possible carcinogens.

•  More than 5,000 acres of land are converted to lawn in America every day and lawns cover more than 41 million acres of land, which causes Americans to spend more than $40 billion every year on  lawns.

• In the American Southwest, where rainfall is not considerable, 75% of homeowner water goes into grass maintenance.

Watch the entire 27-minute documentary video here.

Ready to convert your lawn to something else? Read this: Lawn Gone!

If you simply have to have a patch of grass or a tough sturdy lawn for play space, consider an easy maintenance grass, hybrid bluegrasses.  In the 1990s, Kentucky bluegrass and Texas bluegrass were crossed to create a hybrid bluegrass seed. This type of cool season grass is commonly known as heat tolerant bluegrass because of its ability to withstand high temperatures with much less watering due to its deep roots.  It will also grow well in shade.  Read more about this.

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