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The Green Life: Got a Lawn? Make it a Garden!

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June 16, 2010

Got a Lawn? Make it a Garden!

Garden Taking care of your lawn can be exasperating – and harmful to the Earth. We're happy to know, then, that a movement to do away with manicured lawns and replace them with functional (and beautiful!) gardens is catching on across America.

Lawns often serve as a status symbol, with Americans pouring more than $35 billion per year into the turfgrass industry. However, lawns decrease biodiversity; many of the most common pesticides used on them kill birds and fish and cause cancer and birth defects in humans. The chemicals also run off lawns after rainstorms, flowing into drains, rivers, and lakes.

So enough with the bad news – what can we do to change this? Well, we can dig up some of the grass in our lawns and create some raised beds instead, to allow for improved soil quality. If you keep some grass, use a push mower instead of gas-powered one. And when planting your garden, choose plants that thrive in your climate so that you don’t have to over-water them or use artificial fertilizers. Finally, opt for fruits and vegetables that you know you’ll enjoy so that your hard work pays off in a refreshing salad or delicious soup.

--Kristin Baldwin

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