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Why Lawns are Awful for the Environment – and 3 Beautiful Earth Saving Alternatives

Updated: Feb 16

Where did grass gardens originate from?

Although having grass in our gardens now seems as natural as having water in the oceans and a sun in the sky; the idea of having grass gardens was actually planted in the 16th Century Renaissance period in England, and quickly became the focal point of every quintessentially British home for the upper-class who could afford to have land that was used for means other than growing food to survive (however, the significantly less harmful grass alternatives chamomile or thyme were also used during this time). Initially, these original gardens were naturally maintained by grazing sheep or servenats, but with the introduction and evolution of technology, instruments such as trimmers and then lawnmowers eventually succeeded this position.

Why are grass gardens bad for the environment?

As the saying goes, greens are almost always good for you – but this old idiom is certainly not applicable when it comes to the artificially grown grass (which unfortunately constitutes for most current garden designs). This is because grass does not actually grow naturally in our back gardens, and has to be manually placed over what would otherwise grow in its place. This human process takes a lot of manufacturing (which releases co2 emissions into the atmosphere, further perpetuating the already intoxicating greenhouse effect). On top of this, every year in North America alone, grass gardens demand nearly 3 trillion gallons of water to keep them looking pristine, 200 million gallons of gas (for the mowing), and 70 million pounds of pesticides. It also strips pollinators (such as bees), plants and other wildlife from their habitats.

What eco-friendly grass alternatives can I have in my garden?

  • Japanese Sweet Flag

This plant which is native to japan (like our beloved Furoshiki), is a slow-spreading environmentally friendly grass alternative. Japanese Sweet Flag is evergreen, sustainable, and stunning.

  • Thyme

The multifaceted Thyme is a great grass alternative for any climate-conscious gardeners, who care for the rest of the environment as much as their own mini ones at home. Replacing grass gardens with Thyme is something to consider as Thyme:

  1. Requires less water to flourish

  2. Is drought resistant

  3. Only grows to a couple of inches in height, requiring less mowing (meaning less energy).

sustainable plants, sustainable grass, grass alternatives, Furoshiki
  • Micro Clover

Micro Clover (also known as Pipolina) is a miniature White Dutch Clover variant (1/3rd of their size to be exact). They are a beautiful grass lawn alternative as they:

  1. Don’t clump together

  2. Require less fertilizer

  3. More tolerant to droughts

sustainable plants, sustainable grass, grass alternatives, Furoshiki
Micro Clover

For more tips on how to stay sustainable this year, take a look at our blog page and subsribe to our newsletters.

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