While our species tend to enjoy a lush carpet of grass — no doubt due to the birth of humanity on Africa’s savannas — a lawn is what environmentalists label an unmitigated disaster.
The reason is obvious. A manicured lawn is not natural. One might compare it to Kim Kardashian in terms of it’s synthetic “enhancements.”
First, the lawn. According to noted biologist Edward O. Wilson, “Lawns are a monoculture of alien species, a rapacious consumer of water, and require toxic chemicals to maintain which eventually make their way into aquifers and stream headwaters.”
Now, Kim. According to the tabloids, “Kim Kardashian has had fat transferred from less desirable areas and put into her buttocks and hips. She has most likely had an open septorhinoplasty to slim the bridge of her nose. She has undergone breast enlargement and uplift. And she has most likely had laser treatment on her hairline to make it neater.”
So how have we arrived at a point where we’re attempting to contour nature the way Kardashian surgically alters her body?
We owe the start of lawn maintenance to the British aristocracy of the 1860s. These sophisticates first introduced the idea of the “weed-free lawn” in an attempt to show affluence. Homeowners were encouraged to display their wealth by keeping pristine grass lawns instead of using the space to grow food. Before this trend took over, people actually pulled grass out of their lawns to make room for weeds, which were often incorporated into family salads and herbal teas.
Today, homeowners proudly display their “green thumb” by making sure their yard is micromanaged like a Martha Stewart dinner party. Most have no idea that this carpet of chemicals ranks just above bare concrete as a pox on our planet.
To which we say: let thy lawn go native!* Not only will this positively impact the environment by dispensing with gasoline, pesticides, and unnecessary irrigation, you’ll immediately begin to enjoy the simple pleasures of fresh air, blue skies, and plenty of extra hammock time! Plus you’ll gain an appreciation for the beauty of wildflowers, and learn to love such growths as Digitaria Sanguinalis.
If you still have a hankering for landscaping, then it’s best to choose species indigenous to your area, rather than planting exotic trees and shrubs with no concern for their geographic origin. The local variety produces more insects, which in turn attracts birds that provide a check on pests. It is personalized conservation at its best, or what landscapers refer to as “biophilic design” – integrating nature into our modern environments.
It may be too late for Kim Kardashian. But it’s not too late for us!
*Even better, knock down your house and live in the wild. Your neighbors might object; it can take awhile for humans to adapt to new situations. Offer them some tomatoes and beans from your new organic garden, and perhaps they’ll think twice about calling the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission to have you removed.