Benefits of Grass - Clean Air Lawn Care

Benefits of Grass

There are benefits to having a healthy and sustainable lawn that often go overlooked in the debate over the suitability of lawns in today’s world where water and resource scarcity is a constant concern.

benefits of grass

What are some of the issues with grass?

  • Water consumption: in some communities, 50% of residential water supply goes towards the maintenance of lawns and gardens. This can put stress on municipalities’ water supplies in drought‐prone areas.
  • Chemical inputs: over‐watering, over‐fertilizing, or improper application can cause chemical fertilizers and pesticides to runoff into local waterways causing dangerous and expensive water pollution (natural fertilizers and pesticides run off too, but because of their composition, the pollution hazard is significantly reduced). They can also be blown into the air or run into waterways if they aren’t watered into the grass in a timely fashion or are overwatered..
  • Equipment: the equipment used to maintain lawns is a significant contributor to ground‐level air pollution.
    • Small engines contribute 5 to 10% of the nation’s air pollution and play a major role in summer‐time ground‐level ozone.
    • EPA says… 1 hour, 1 lawn mower pollutes the same as 40 late model cars, emits hydrocarbons equal to an SUV driven 23,600 miles and contributes 93 times more smog-forming emissions than 2006 model cars.
    • Gas lawn mowers run at 100 decibels, anything over 90 decibels causes hearing damage.
    • Mowers consume 580 million gallons of gasoline annually and more gas is spilled during refueling each year than was spilled in the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Available alternatives:

  • Choose a native grass or a type of grass that is well suited for your climate significantly reduces necessary water and fertilizer inputs.
  • Water lawns in the coolest part of the day and mow grass taller.
  • Xeriscape: xeriscaping is landscaping in a way that requires significantly less water and maintenance, often times requiring no irrigation at all.
  • Use electric lawn care equipment and organic fertilizers or choose a lawn care company that provides service using these products:
    • Emit 3,300 times less hydrocarbons, 5,000 times less CO, one‐fifth as much NOx and less than half the CO2  as gas lawn mowers
    • Noise emissions are cut by 50‐75%
    • Most pollution comes from power plants used to recharge batteries and if solar and wind energy is used, the emissions are reduced to close to zero
    • Electric mowers are 90% energy efficient whereas gas mowers are only 15%

Benefits of lawns

The reality is that there will always be a significant portion of the population that wants a lawn their children can run barefoot on, they can have a comfortable picnic on, their dogs can lay in the shade on, or on which they can play soccer. There are many benefits of lawns when they are maintained in a responsible and sustainable manner:

  • A healthy lawn increases soil stability through its deep and expansive root structure which reduces land degradation and erosion from wind and water.
  • Lawns cool the air: according to a Mississippi State University study, a healthy lawn has the same cooling effect as an 8.5-ton air conditioning compressor. About ½ the heat energy directed to a grassy area is eliminated by evapotranspiration. Non‐vegetative surfaces (like rock, artificial turf, cement) do not have the same cooling effect and in some cases, can actually create a mini ‘heat‐island’ effect, increasing the ground‐level temperature.
  • Some consider artificial turf a favorable alternative to grass, however, there are many issues surrounding artificial turf:
    • Artificial turf is made from petroleum‐based materials which are resource intensive to manufacture and transport.
    • Some artificial turf is painted with lead paint creating an unsafe recreation area for children.
    • Artificial turf has also been shown to leach zinc, organic compounds, and other chemicals, particularly from the crumb rubber infill.
    • Soil health and stability are greatly reduced in the absence of root systems and organic matter from grass and other vegetation.
    • Lawns act as a carbon sink, taking up CO2 from the atmosphere, thereby playing a small role in managing global climate change. The 40 million acres of lawns in the US take up between 6 and 17 teragrams of carbon each year depending on how they are managed, according to NASA.  Also, leaving grass clippings on the lawn increases carbon uptake. Tearing up grass to install artificial turf releases significant amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere.
  • Lawns act as natural filters taking up dust, pollutants, and particulate matter from the air and water (up to 12 million tons per year).
  • Lawns significantly reduce noise pollution, particularly in urban areas.

Ready to have a beautiful, green and environmentally friendly lawn? Get in touch! We’d love to help.

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Millie Hue
1 year ago

Thanks for helping me understand that we must make sure that the grass we will pick is suited for the climate in our area. I will keep that in mind now that I have bought a property with a lawn for the first time. We have always lived in a condominium unit ever since I was a kid that is why I have no idea about this. It would be best to hire a professional for all our future lawn maintenance needs.

Lillian Schaeffer
1 year ago

Thanks for letting me know that a healthy lawn can make your soil more stable. I’ve been worried about soil erosion around my home. Maybe it would be a good idea to have a professional come and install a lawn to prevent that.

Ethan Hansen
1 year ago

I found it interesting how you mentioned how lawns clean the air around your property and provide a place for kids to run barefoot on. My wife and I are building our new home and we want to make sure we do everything we can to give back to mother nature and to provide a place for our grandkids to play and grow. I will keep this in mind as we search for a lawn care service who can help us restore our grass to its former glory!

Sariah Meagle
1 year ago

Wow, I never knew that grass can cool the air. I suppose I should hire a landscaper to fix my lawn to make sure it has soil stability. Since they also act as natural filters, I’m sure that the air around me will be cleaner once it’s maintained.

Angela Waterford
1 year ago

My father always told me that having a lawn is good for the environment because it leads to less soil erosion. I think he’s right because it cools the air around us. Thanks for mentioning that it acts as a natural filter as well so I’ll make sure to hire a landscape maintenance company to make sure that our lawn stays green and healthy.

Benjamin Andrews
1 year ago

I found it interesting that you state that having a lawn will create a cool area for you to relax in. My brother and his wife are building a house, and want to start on the landscaping as soon as possible. I will send this information over to them so they can start looking for a company to help them out.

Amy Winters
11 months ago

Thank you for pointing out that a healthy lawn increases soil stability with its deep root structure. My husband and I have been thinking about re-landscaping our yard to have more grass. It’s good to know that it would increase the soil stability around our home.

Eli Richardson
11 months ago

It is interesting to learn that a healthy lawn enhances soil stability. My brother moved to an old house, and the people living there neglected the lawn. It would be helpful is he calls a landscaper to prevent any degradation from happening on his lawn.

Derek McDoogle
10 months ago

I like how you suggested to water lawns in the coolest part of the day. My brother just bought a house which has a large backyard but he says that the grass needs a lot of work. It might be a good idea to rent some lawn equipment to help him fix the grass.

8 months ago

It was very interesting that you mentioned that most pollution comes from power plants. I am trying to be better at caring for the environment. I will make sure I get lawn fertilization from a professional.

Nina Thompson
1 month ago

There are many types of lawn grasses which gives your lawn a different looks and depending on the climatic conditions and nearby surroundings you can choose any of these lawn grass for decorating your lawn.

I appreciate your tips and the post. I think the homeowners will love this.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x