Biweekly Tip #15 on “Daily Living for a Healthy Climate”

Better Lawns and Landscaping

Green shrubs, bushes and trees

Lawns that are “cared for” with chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides can be deadly. The EPA states that runoff from
lawns contaminate streams and groundwater, and lawn chemicals
kill native plants, insects, and wildlife. People and pets are also at risk,
as some of these chemicals are carcinogenic and can cause other diseases and birth defects.

What can we do?

  • Don’t use lawn chemicals.
  • Replace manicured lawns with areas of perennials, annuals, and/or groundcovers like ferns and wildflowers. These could form a pollinator garden.
  • Introduce native plants, including shrubs and small trees back into the landscape.
  • Start a vegetable garden in a former lawn area.
  • Leave some lawn area “to its own devices”.

Chemically maintained lawns create a monoculture. Having a diverse landscape that includes native plants will attract and create a haven for birds and native insects like fireflies, butterflies, and bees. A more natural landscape can also be a beautiful, as can be seen in this picture from The Association to Preserve Cape Cod.