SafeLawns: Urging Americans to Green Up their Lawns

safelawns.JPGA green lawn has all sorts of symbolic meanings for Americans: while biologist E.O. Wilson claims that "human beings have a natural genetic affinity for lawns because their grass-filled open spaces remind us of the African savannahs we evolved upon," lush, uniformly green lawns also signify success and prosperity. As we've noted on a number of occasions, that perfectly manicured carpet of green comes with environmental costs; a number of viable options exist, though, for foregoing chemical fertilizers and pesticides, non-native grass species, and emissions-belching gas mowers.

Seventh Generation's monthly Non-Toxic Times offers a number of tips this month for keeping your lawn green in all senses of the word. They also point to a national organization, SafeLawns, that is dedicated to "...educating society about the benefits of organic lawn care and gardening, and effect a quantum change in consumer and industry behavior" by building a coalition of non- and for-profit organizations that share their mission. On April 4, SafeLawns issued a challenge to American home and building owners on Washington, DC's National Mall. According to the NTT, SafeLawns asked Americans: convert one million acres of conventional lawn to organic lawn by 2010. In addition, SafeLawns is asking colleges, universities, schools, and day care centers to stop using synthetic chemicals on their turf. The organization is also launching a new program with realtors, which will alert home buyers to those properties that have safe-to-play-on organic yards.
If you're looking for guidance on how to go organic in your lawn care, SafeLawns has a wealth of educational materials: how-to videos, a resource directory, and even an overview of research projects on organic lawn care. Additionally, the organization provides information on lawn alternatives that can be just as beautiful without the high environmental costs... or even the regular maintenance requirements. via Seventh Generation's Non-Toxic Times


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