GIMME GREEN is a documentary examining American homeowner’s obsession with a beautiful residential lawn.
Here are some of the facts from their website:
- Lawns are America’s most irrigated crop.
- Lawns cover 41 million acres. Every day, more than 5,000 acres of land are converted to lawns in America.
- Americans spend more than 40 Billion dollars a year on their yards.
- Americans apply more than 30,000 tons of pesticides to their yards every year.
- The National Cancer Institute finds that children in households using lawn pesticides have a 6.5 times greater risk of developing leukemia.
- In an effort to save water, Las Vegas lawn owners are paid a dollar per sq. ft. to remove their grass.
- On average, Americans use 40 to 60 percent of their water on their landscapes.
- In order to maintain all the lawns in America, it would take approximately 200 gallons per person per day.
At first I was doing my part to preserve Mother Earth. Then I was growing food to save money and to become more self sufficient. These days I’m thinking about the lawn as part of my OpSec (Operational Security). What I mean is, if the day should come when I can’t mow the lawn, whether it be the result of an EMP, peak oil, or the danger of wandering zombies – an overgrown lawn could be a big liability.
First, tall grass invites critters of the creepy crawly kind that you don’t want to be up close and personal with. Also, passing zombies, looking at a path worn in the tall grass can easily see how you routinely travel through your yard.
So, this spring, part of the plan is to reduce my lawn by 25%. I’m planning more vegetable beds while widening existing beds and sneaking a few edibles among front yard shrubs and flowers. I want to have plenty of good soil on hand now. As part of my layout now, I’m also planning a nice, wide paver-path to yard destinations like the tool shed and the chicken coop. Last, I’m looking to replace a small portion of the lawn with pavers for safe secure outdoor cooking area and a vegetation ground cover (strawberries?) to make it all pretty.
So whether you’re going green, growing food or considering life after the SHTF, start planning ways to make your lawn serve you instead of the other way around.