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Grass Reduces Greenhouse Gas and Purifies the Air

Grass absorbs greenhouse gas and converts it into life-giving oxygen. Grass does this at a much higher rate than native plants because grass has a higher leaf density and a faster growth rate. A 2500-square foot lawn converts enough carbon dioxide into oxygen to sustain a family of four!

Grass also absorbs particulates and some of the worst atmospheric pollutants such as sulfur dioxide and ozone.

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Grass is Nature’s Air Conditioner

Trees seem to get all the credit for naturally cooling the air because they provide shade, but grass lowers surface temperatures through “evapotranspiration” which is a process similar to that used by old-fashioned evaporation coolers (“swamp coolers”) for home air conditioning. On a hot summer day, lawns will typically be 30 degrees cooler than asphalt, 14 degrees cooler than bare soil and a huge 35 degrees cooler than artificial turf! Aside from just creating a comfortable setting, grass also reduces energy demand by lowering the ambient temperature around a home.

Grass Purifies Water

Millions of turf (grass) roots act as a natural environmental filter, and in combination with soil biology, they make lawn root zones an ideal medium for the biodegradation of contaminants that are carried in runoff water.

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Grass Provides Urban Habitat

We think of cities as places where people live, but they are also places where native birds and animals reside. Landscapes provide the habitat that and forage areas for our wildlife co-inhabitants. Turf is a highly productive forage area for birds and small animals.

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Grass Helps Prevent Soil Erosion

Each grass plant has an extensive root system, which helps bind the soil. Up to 90 percent of the weight of a grass plant is in its roots. A single grass plant grown under ideal conditions has over 300 miles of roots. Erosion of soil by water is effectively controlled by grasses as they intercept raindrops before they disturb the soil and they also slow the flow of water which minimizes soil loss. Run-off of water and pollutants are greatly reduced by a highly maintained lawn. Dense turfgrass cleans the water helping to maintain a high quality environment.

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Removing turf is NOT the solution! Learn the Facts:

Living Landscapes Matter

What Are We Losing When We Remove Turf?

Grass Is Good For the Environment

Grass enhances the environment; this is a proven fact. But with the current hyper-focus on water usage, grass has become the subject of undeserved environmental criticism. Of course grass uses water, but let’s look at this in context.

Only four percent of California’s water goes to residential landscapes, and this four percent is comprised within the eleven percent that is used for all urban uses. In contrast, forty-eight percent goes to the environment and forty-one percent is delivered to agriculture.

This means that eliminating every lawn, shrub and tree in residential areas will have no significant impact on the water situation, yet neighborhoods would be as barren as a Baghdad.

**Figures from the California Department of Water Resources Water Plan Highlights 2010

 

California water usage facts are often presented in a misleading fashion by generalizing that agriculture uses 80 percent and urban uses 20 percent. This completely ignores the reality that almost half of all water flow is for environmental uses.

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