Your Grass Lawn Is Literally Killing Earth

By Alexandra Del Canto

When thinking of a front yard, the first thing many of us envision is a carpet of green grass.

Lush lawns do not occur naturally, therefore a healthy lawn does not happen without much effort from the owner. But what started this craze about homes needing a front lawn?

Lawns originate back to the aristocratic times of the early 18th century. Lawns were a sign of wealth and were popular as the climate was conducive to growing them in the United Kingdom. The trend was adapted throughout history over and over again, although many would argue that owning a lawn is actually hurting the planet.


Well, the EPA estimates that 30-60% of fresh water is used for watering lawns.

Just as certain species of plants do not thrive in particular areas, lawns do not thrive well in certain areas as well. This can mean that depending on the location, lawns may need extra water and certain pesticides to keep them lush and growing.

Both of these elements are detrimental to the environment. On top of the extreme use of water and pesticides, mowers that maintain the lawns emit a large amount of pollutants. The EPA estimates 580 million gallons of gasoline are used for lawnmowers annually.


Hey nice lawn, Earth killers. Photo Credit: Alex Del Canto

With severe on going droughts in many part of the world, why are we continuing to waste our natural resources on maintaining a piece of aesthetic and modern comfort?

In many areas, as well as South Florida (where Rise News is headquartered), not “properly maintaining” a lawn is punishable by law. But what if you wish to not have a lawn at all, so you do not have to use the resources to maintain it?

In most areas of South Florida, that’s not okay either, you must maintain a certain amount of lawn on your property.

Here’s an example from the Broward County Code:

(Article VIII, “Landscaping for Protection of Water Quality and Quantity,”): 

“For the purpose of this article, native vegetation shall consist of those plant species indigenous to the ecological communities of South Florida, as indicated on lists provided by Broward County. The remainder of the required landscape area shall be landscaped with turfgrass..”

Why is there such an emphasis on growing lawns rather than maintaining native vegetation? The most practical use of personal land would be to benefit the environment and it’s inhabitants. The use of land for growing food rather than lawns should be encouraged rather than discouraged. Think of the consequences of keeping a lawn and the alternative uses of potential space. Besides, beauty is only blade deep.

This article was original published on

Cover Photo Credit: Alexandra Del Canto/RISE NEWS

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