A frustrated landscaper expressed their disappointment after working on manicured lawns.
“I quit my landscaping position two days into training because my job consisted of destroying ecosystems,” wrote the Redditor. “Why do so many people’s idea of beauty have to clash with what nature freely provides? It just makes me sad.”
“I hear you,” responded one user. “I worked on a golf course landscaping team while I was in college. I still can’t believe how much labor, water and herbicide/pesticide it takes [to] appease less than 1% of the county’s population.”
Manicured lawns require more time, money, and resources to maintain than a pocket prairie or uncut lawn filled with native plants. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, lawns across the U.S. consume nearly three trillion gallons of water, 200 million gallons of gas, and 70 million pounds of pesticides annually.
Trimmed grass landscapes also rely on dirty energy from gas-powered lawn mowers to stay manicured. Recent data from the EPA reveals that lawn equipment, including leaf blowers, lawn mowers, and weed eaters, release more than 68,000 tons of smog-forming pollution, which is equivalent to the pollution from 30 million cars, per Grist.
On the other hand, growing wildflowers and native plants in your yard is a great way to support your local ecosystem while also saving time and money on lawn maintenance. Alternative lawns promote diverse ecosystems by providing foraging spots for birds and nectar for pollinators, such as bees and butterflies.
Redditors offered alternative landscaping opportunities for the frustrated worker.
“There are some landscaping companies that deal with almost exclusively native plantings and rewilding in my area. Maybe you can find employment with one if you can find one where you are?” suggested one Redditor.
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