Last week, at a rather stuck-up benefit on the 26th floor of a large skyscraper, a work friend scoffed at me after I said I couldn’t wait to have a house in the suburbs with a lawn. “What do you want a lawn for? They’re so wasteful. Just empty space and grass everywhere you look! I’m going to grow mango trees. If I ever leave Manhattan!”
I highly doubt this friend will ever leave Manhattan, and more power to her. But I patently disagree with her views on grass.
Your lawn isn’t just some ostentatious holdover from 19th century English fashion. Your lawn raises your property value, increases curb appeal, and provides desirable green space for the entire family.
However as a rather famous poet once said, “All that glitters is not gold.” A lawn that looks good can actually be dangerous for the environment and family, especially your pets. Below are a few tips for practicing safer lawn care — and remember, safe lawn care is pet friendly lawn care!
1. Be strategic about your landscaping.Most people landscape because it looks good and returns on investment significantly. But practicing pet friendly lawn care means subscribing to a few landscaping rules. These rules are:
– Make sure the shrubs and vegetation you introduce are native to the region.
– Check to see if this vegetation is poisonous to animals — pet friendly lawn care means keeping a yard devoid of hazards for your furry friends!
– Make sure your yard is well fenced in to ensure adequate privacy and reduce the chances of outside influences corrupting your delicate, environmentally friendly lawncare plans.
2. Invest in organic herbicides and fertilizer. Around 60 to 70 million birds die from herbicide poisoning each year. Dogs, cats, bunnies, butterflies, bees — all of these animals are put at risk thanks to the harmful chemical cocktails that make up most standard lawn chemicals. Sure, organic, natural lawncare is more expensive, but not as expensive as taking Fluffy to the vet to have his stomach pumped, or laying awake at night wondering if your yard is an extra in Silent Spring.
3. Cool it with the Bobcat. We know what you’re thinking. That now we’re just being nit-picky. But gas powered lawn mowers use fully 580 million gallons of gas annually. You might be thinking “So what, it’s just a mower, not an 18 Wheeler!” However, one hour’s lawn mower use emits just as many toxic carbons into the air as a car driven for 20 miles. That’s like a whole extra commute! If you want no part of this, consider switching to a manual push and peel mower. Sure, they’re old fashioned, but they’ll go a long way towards increasing your pet friendly lawn care cred and will significantly reduce your carbon footprint.
I hope this very basic guide gives you a starting point for proving my friend wrong. It’s okay to like grass, lawns, and open spaces. We’ve developed the technology to have our lawn and let the dog eat it too.