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Homeowner sparks outrage after complaining about neighbors' yards amid drought: 'Our neighborhood is deteriorating'

The "covenants" the appalled resident speaks of belong to their homeowners association.

The "covenants" the appalled resident speaks of belong to their homeowners association.

Photo Credit: iStock

The grass may not be greener on the other side of the fence, but there may be a good reason. 

A Redditor recently took to the r/NoLawns subreddit to call out a neighbor's complaint about a lack of green grass. The post shows an exchange about the merits of a manicured lawn. 

"I haven't read the covenants in years, but is it really ok to let our yards degrade," the exchange begins. "I am appalled at the horrible-looking yards I saw on my short walk this morning. Our neighborhood is deteriorating, folks." 

In between, the person describes lawns that appear unwatered and unmowed. 

The "covenants" the appalled resident speaks of belong to their homeowners association.
Photo Credit: Reddit

Below the complaint, someone responded, "We are in one of the hottest summers in history without rain." They then explain that there are Stage 2 water restrictions in San Antonio, Texas, where they live, meaning yards can be watered only once a week. 

"Green grass does nothing for our environment," the responder continues. "We should be focusing on planting native drought resistant plants, encouraging less watering, and getting rid of grass as a symbol of wealth." 

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Let's unpack this exchange. 

The "covenants" the appalled resident speaks of belong to their homeowners association. HOAs help manage the communal spaces within a community, but they have gained a reputation for preventing homeowners from making money-saving, eco-friendly updates to their homes. 

Two of the most common battles are installing solar panels and, as discussed in this exchange, lawn maintenance and native lawns. As stated in the response, sprawling green lawns came about as a symbol of wealth, and they wreak havoc on the environment. 

The Environmental Protection Agency reports that landscape irrigation is estimated to account for nearly one-third of all residential water use in the United States, an amount that equals almost 9 billion gallons per day. 

Aside from constant watering, grass lawns require mowing, fertilizer, and pesticides. Gas-powered tools create loads of planet-warming pollution, and runoff from the chemicals harms the environment. Grass is also a monoculture and provides no food or shelter for pollinators or other local wildlife. 

Native lawns — landscaping with plants that naturally occur in a region and are adapted to its moisture level, soil, weather, and wildlife — on the other hand, require little to no water, zero pesticides, and provide a paradise for pollinators and other wildlife. 

Stalling these changes negatively impacts both homeowners and the environment. If you want to go native and find yourself up against a resistant HOA, you can work with them to change the rules as long as you know where to start. 

Commenters on the post were astounded by the ranting resident and fully supported the OP's suggestion. 

"No other country is obsessed about pointless green monoculture like the U.S.," pointed out one.  

"It's crazy to me that people prefer having a yard instead of a garden," stated another.  

"Grass? Pass," rhymed a third. "Native species? Yay please."

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