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Friday, July 8, 2011

Is Your Lawn Causing Cancer?

July 2, 2011 (Daytona Beach, FL) - Many may be reading this thinking that any lawn given the term "killer lawn" deserves a beautification award not much unlike that of a 1st place "killer pie" in a bake off contest. But the "killer" we are talking about is the one you don't want to hear about. In fact, we were so shocked when we read the statistics that we felt obligated to write about it in this month's edition of Green Gossip by the folks at Florida Herb House.

According to a group of world renown scientists from the United Nations Climate Change Convention, if our planet's current greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced by at least fifty percent within the next thirty years then our planet will crash just like a virus infected desktop. Luckily, many a folk are aware of the environmental dilemmas that plague our once healthy planet and thus have stepped up and made significant steps towards a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Some of these changes have included trading in the gas guzzler for a greener type hybrid vehicle, installing a solar hot water heater, and choosing to buy more organic and all natural products. But the one topic that seems to slide under the radar all too often is our lawn. That beautifully manicured, fresh cut, lush green, insect free, weed free, "killer lawn".

The truth is a staggering seven billion gallons of water per day is depleted from our water sheds for landscaping needs. Even more shocking is the 800 million gallons of fuel that is burned each year powering all the lawn mowers and weed whackers so desperately needed for maintaining those killer lawns. Now for the shocker - this one will make you go hmmm… and trumps all the rest. In the United States alone, not ten, not twenty, not thirty, but over forty billion dollars are spent every year on pesticides, fertilizers and other deadly lawn chemicals! It is no wonder that the average American has over three times the amount of pesticide toxins built up in his/her body compared to levels from only thirty years ago. It's time to think and be responsible, responsible for the well being of our children if nothing else and put a stop to this madness.

But what can we do? For starters, we, as concerned citizens have to start saying no to pesticides and fertilizers that are not organic or naturally manufactured. Not only will organic lawn products keep your lawn just as pretty as before but they will help solve the ever growing problem of chemically polluted water sheds and so many other health hazards. Additionally, as an added bonus children will have a safer environment to frolic and play in. While organic lawn products are slightly higher in cost, the benefits outweigh the costs easily in so many ways.

Next are the mowers and other gas powered equipment used for lawn care. When it is time to upgrade or replace your equipment opt for a more eco-friendly electric mower or even a self powered push mower like the one grandma used to use. Electric lawn mowers and weed whackers have come a long way in reliability and have cordless options that can meet the needs of the most demanding lawns. An electric mower costs only $10 per year to operate and will help cut into the millions of gallons of fuel that is exhausted annually in grass cutting machines.

For those searching for even more extreme eco-friendly options for their lawns, the kind that make tree huggers around the world smile, then do a search on Google for imitation and biodegradable lawns. They are available and gaining in popularity in the United States. Artificial lawns, while somewhat costly (an average size lawn would cost $5000-$10,000), will save the average homeowner hundreds of dollars per year in water and fuel costs. The real savings though will be in the reduction of greenhouse emissions and other pollutants. Another option for those concerned about the future of our planet would be to hire a company who paints lawns. While this sounds strange, there are several entrepreneurs earning living with this service. They come to your house every so often and treat your lawn with an eco-friendly, bio-degradeable lawn paint that matches your lawn's natural color and keeps it looking full and healthy all year round. For the most part this eliminates the need for constant watering and fertilizing and saves more than money – it saves our planet. Choosing one of these two options will reduce your carbon footprint more than if you traded in your SUV for that hybrid alternative - think about that. Whatever one decides for the future of their lawn, making just one small step per year to save our planet is surely better than doing nothing.

Steven Sharp
Green Gossip by Florida Herb House