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Is our love for manicured lawns and 2 trees out front destroying the environment?

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posted on Mar, 3 2008 @ 12:40 PM
I've had some battles with my neighbors because I prefer to have a more diverse yard than is currently acceptable. America is crawling with manicured lawns and a couple of deciduous trees out front. I have to wonder if some of the problems we're having with bees, bats, and other such critters might be because we're fertilizing, mowing, and insecticiding our world out of existance.

So, what is the basis for our preference for those manicured lawns? Why isn't a diverse habitat just as acceptable in urban America? Are we really such neat freaks that we aren't willing to allow any room for the other creatures that share our world?

I wonder what might happen if, instead of those manicured lawns and two trees out front, we planted edible yards and natural habitat. Wouldn't that help some of the species depletion we've been seeing?

For you personally, would you object to such a yard in your neighborhood, or are you married to the green swathe of lawn no matter what and rue the neighbor who chooses otherwise?

My preference is for something other than that field of green - which looks dead and lifeless to me - and I'm trying to put in something more cottagy and friendly to my fellow inhabitants. Sometimes I wonder how much better our world might be if everyone could make that choice (especially now that food prices have gone through the roof).

What's your take?

posted on Mar, 3 2008 @ 01:14 PM
I'm with you. I love natural habitat and xerescaping (sp?). Unfortunately many neighborhoods and covenents do not.

I am really fearing for the bees this year. I only use natural pest control and now that my grass is established I am getting rid of the lawn company. I'll pluck the weeds by hand. I live near a creek in a hilly neighborhood and I really worry about the runoff. The natural creek has been totally changed by topsoil and red clay sediment runoff.

Unfortunately, until there is agricultural collapse, there will not be a widescale effort to protect the environment from all the do-it-yourself chemicals available at the big box stores.

posted on Mar, 3 2008 @ 01:31 PM
reply to post by kosmicjack

Sometimes I wonder why people don't think that natural things are beautiful. They don't look "neat" enough to suit people. Personally, I think cottage gardens are extraordinarily beautiful, and as long as there's some diversity, I think even more "weedy" patches can look beautiful.

I have a xeriscaping plant catalog that shows some "prairie" yards that are beautiful. A lot of neighborhoods (and neighbors) wouldn't accept them, however.

I think our rigid adherence to "neatness" might end in our downfall...

posted on Mar, 3 2008 @ 01:33 PM
I am the envy of my family when it comes to lawns.
I have just under 2 acres of yard that is nicely green.
I never water it nor do I furtilize it. I do cut it about every other week.
Every once in a while, I will use the mulcher on my mower instead of bagging it (I have 3 heaps of very furtile dirt from the lawn clippings).

I have the same grass that grows by the highways called zoysia (sp?)
This is pretty hearty stuff. I also have a large carpet of moss in the back yard. It is beautiful to look at. I encourage it to spread and take over the lawn. We also have this crazy infestation of wild chives (mini onions) that is interspersed thoughout the property. Whenever I mow, it smells like onions. Not too shabby.

I'd rather let the kids enjoy their yard more than please the neighbors.

posted on Mar, 3 2008 @ 01:39 PM
Hi there,

Nice topic,

here in the UK the main problem with the floods we had last year,was due to the fact that people here have ripped out there lawns and trees and put in driveways instead,

everywhere you look they are paving over or concreting over grass and open soil, obv rainwater doesnt flow away as it should.


posted on Mar, 3 2008 @ 02:05 PM
reply to post by snoopyuk

All that concrete is actually really bad for the environment and contributes to global warming. Strange as it sounds, the pavement in cities creates heat zones that raise local temperatures and affect the local environment. With cities expanding and generating more heat...

Give me plants and bees and butterflies any day.

I guess all that concrete is just easier to take care of. (sigh)

posted on Mar, 3 2008 @ 02:23 PM
Of course it is. Two cycle engines are the worst offenders of pollution. I read somewhere a boat can produce more pollution in a days run than a newer car in a lifetime. When the coming apocalypse comes and the bird flu hits the remaining villages will revert back to goats.

posted on Mar, 3 2008 @ 02:44 PM
reply to post by jpm1602

People used to plant their yards with things they could eat. They might have a chicken or two running around.

With food prices shooting through the roof, is it better to starve and keep your lawn and 2 trees, or practice something more sensible for both you and the environment?

posted on Mar, 3 2008 @ 04:26 PM
People like conformity, and they like having something in common with others, to the extent that they will attempt to chastise anyone who doesn't fit.

In one area it's neat lawns.
In another, it's paint schemes.
etc etc

People have also been conditioned by TV shows which basically market a sense of false aspiration
i.e. "look at those lovely gardens on (insert random sitcom/drama)"
And because people get confused on a subconscious level about the differing realities, they aspire to have pretty gardens, 2.4 kids, a certain type of car, dishwasher, maid, decor and even drink.

It would make me laugh if it weren't so sad and dangerous.

posted on Mar, 3 2008 @ 04:31 PM
reply to post by budski

We're our own worst enemy.

Sometimes I think the "Easter Islanding" of the world is inevitable because we're incapable of learning from our mistakes and changing before it's too late.

And nature in her wild glory can be so nice...

posted on Mar, 3 2008 @ 04:39 PM
I've always wondered what kind of people buy those places where it's stipulated by some neighbourhood committee that you can't plant this or that or you can't do this or that with your own private property.

If I'm going to drop a quarter million on a piece of property, I'll be damed if someone is going to tell me what colour my front door has to be.

Here in Montreal and I think most of Quebec, most non-natural chemical lawn care products have been phased out (made illegal to sell). Many municipalities are actually encouraging divers planting instead of green manicured lawns. Of course we have a reputation for being much more environmentally conscious than most.
edit: here's the story

Quebec beefs up pesticide ban

Toughest rules in north america; Gardeners advised to get back to basics in their fight against dreaded weeds

A new era in pesticide use has begun in Quebec with the banning of many domestic products that have chemicals considered toxic to humans and the environment.

The third and final phase of Quebec's Pesticide Management Code, first introduced in March 2003, went into effect yesterday.

With its ban on 20 active ingredients, 210 lawn-care products are now off the market, giving Quebec the toughest standards in North America.

[edit on 3/3/2008 by Gools]

posted on Mar, 3 2008 @ 04:46 PM
It's just people who feel the need to belong and to control - matched with a false aspirational personal ideology, it makes for a potent and dangerous combination.

These are the people who vote the same way, simply because they've ALWAYS voted that way, and because their dad did, and because they WANT to believe.

It doesn't matter what they believe, as long as it's something - even if it's just keepingother races/nationalities out of their country club, because they don't conform to the same "ideal"

posted on Mar, 3 2008 @ 04:50 PM
reply to post by budski

Shallow thinking.

That seems to be behind a lot of the world's ills.

I wonder what will be left of the world when we're done.

When Bush got in office, it turned the clock back on the environment by about 50 years. Gagging scientists who disagreed with him, and all that. It reminded me of Copernicus.

If you don't like the message, just silence the messenger.

While the world goes to heck in a handbasket.

posted on Mar, 3 2008 @ 04:52 PM
Grass is the #1 crop in America, the most money goes into it, it sucks up the most water and nutrients... and who eats it? Nobody.

Our lawns are gross wastes of biomass. But the real kicker are golf courses. Square miles of carefully trimmed and drenched non-native grass filled with fertilizer and weeded to the point of genetic monopoly, all so some old guys can whack a little white ball around a few days out of the month.

I'm a big fan of xenoscaping and private gardens, myself, obviously. If a plant doesn't normally occur in your area, and can't survive without constant attention... why bother? I'd rather have a yard full of dandelions and crabgrass than look like the fifth green.

posted on Mar, 3 2008 @ 04:53 PM
reply to post by budski

In other words "groupthink".

I understand and this is why I would never be caught dead looking for a place in such a neighbourhood.

It's not uncommon to find a vegetable garden, a flower garden or a "planned wild patch" growing on people's front lawns around here. Makes for a much more interesting landscape and it's simply amazing to see the personal creativity of some people. Those with a simple patch of green look mentally stunted by comparison.


posted on Mar, 3 2008 @ 04:57 PM
We don't get too much of it here either - too many old hippies for that.

It reminds me of that film "the burbs" though when everything is so neat and twee - vomit inducing in fact.

It's not really like the communities are that close either, they seem to exist in a state of barely disguised undeclared war a lot of the time.
I suppose that's what happens when your only goals are those of other people...

posted on Mar, 3 2008 @ 05:12 PM

Originally posted by AWingAndASigh
reply to post by budski

Sometimes I think the "Easter Islanding" of the world is inevitable because we're incapable of learning from our mistakes and changing before it's too late.

This occurs to me everytime I see a piece of land being razed for yet another development.

In my area we have the same retail shopping center every 3-5 miles. Grocery Store. Nails. Tan. Dentist. Mattresses. Cell Phone Company. Pak & Mail. Fast Food.

I swear, I didn't know mattresses were in such high demand or that they were so damn disposable that people would need a distributor every few miles. And, literally, the Nails, Tan and Dentist are called just that - Nails Tans and Dentist. It's like a suburban hell. I put that as my "location" once in my avatar and got booed off of BTS as being to negative in my outlook.
I just report the facts.

And as mind boggling as it is, develpers are still building new subdivisions in my area despite the complete lack of interest and turnover in housing. Who the hell is going to move into these houses? I guarantee not many people are moving to this area and the ones that are here are upside-down in their mortgages. It is really unbelievable.

I am holding my breath to see what spring holds. I hope they put some bees in that Doomsday Vault. Otherwise, if you think food prices are high now...

posted on Mar, 3 2008 @ 05:20 PM

Originally posted by budskiIt's not really like the communities are that close either, they seem to exist in a state of barely disguised undeclared war a lot of the time.

I can attest to that. we moved into a cul-de-sac type neighborhood- a real stretch financially - just so the kids could have have a place to play and lots of neighbors to play with.

No go.

Most of th kids are over-tasked with this, that or the other lesson or activity so they can be super-kids OR they just sit inside and play video games.

Oh, and let's not forget, they all hold their kids back a grade so they can be considered geniuses in their class .This trend creates some gargantuan kindergarteners I can assure you!

Ah...America in the 21st century...what's to love?

posted on Mar, 3 2008 @ 05:22 PM
One can sure use Arizona as the Poster-Child for killing an environment
with the newcomers 'Ideal' -- which happened to be a manicured lawn
with some trees or exotic (for the desert) foliage plants.

In the '50s & early '60s, those we now identify as 'baby boomers' migrated to the sunshine states ... Fla, Cal, but in this case Ariz.

where the immigrants from the upper mid-west brought all their
plants & dreams of an Ideal Edinic sanctuary...and essentially polluted
the ecosphere/environment of the high desert in Arizona.
Phoenix & vicinity is no longer the environment long touted as a :
"Send Your Sinuses To Arizona", kinda place to live.
.... Now (actually since the late '60s) the place has so much mold
and pollen & particulates... its a Asthmathics Nightmare

the individuals minds-eye-view of heaven-on-earth
has resulted in a toxic, mold, spore laden atmosphere....
which now includes a respitory centered maledy known as 'Valley Fever'

i'm not much for regulations & gestapo policing...
but sometimes we need to protect ourselves = from ourselves =

posted on Mar, 12 2008 @ 04:31 PM
I make a personal habit of planting trees on my block. I have well over a hundred in the ground and taller than me. Pear, plum, nectarine, live oak, magnolia, eucalyptus and crepe myrtle are my most common. I own 5 lots on this block; and my trees occupy 6 additional vacant lots owned by private parties....

some complain... some run over my trees with their cars, some beat my trees down with weed wackers...

I just keep planting acorns.... toting water and surrounding the trees I do have with flowers.

Most owners of vacant city lots only show up once every other month to beat back the weeds and assert their authority... I'm here every day.

I also own several wooded acres in middle america... I ain't cutting anything... and as long as I live... you can't buy it.

Sri Oracle

[edit on 12-3-2008 by Sri Oracle]

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