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Homeowner devastated after trusting landscaping company with seemingly simple lawn change: 'I feel like a moron'

"I had hoped that … he would take the hint that we wanted our new yard to be as ecologically friendly as possible."

Spread road cloth

Photo Credit: iStock

One homeowner recently said they learned the hard way to ask questions when having work done on their property after their landscaper "plastic-wrapped" their backyard.

The homeowner went to the r/Anticonsumption subreddit to vent their frustrations to fellow users who are against unnecessary waste. 

Plastic takes a very long time to break down naturally in the environment, is difficult to recycle effectively, and sheds microplastics which pollute water and even invade the human body with unknown health effects.

Sadly, not every provider will tell buyers when they're using plastic products, as this Redditor discovered. "A few weeks ago, my husband and I had our yard landscaped," they explained.

According to the Redditor, the idea was to trade their turf grass for something more useful, for themselves and the environment. 

"We hired a landscaper and described what we wanted: vegetable beds, fruit trees, berry bushes, native plants for decoration, no lawn that requires heavy maintenance," they said. "I had hoped that … he would take the hint that we wanted our new yard to be as ecologically friendly as possible."

Unfortunately, the landscaper missed the mark. "When the landscaper wrote up our contract, he included 'spread road cloth' as one of the work items," said the Redditor.

According to the original poster, they and their husband assumed that "road cloth" was biodegradable. But it turned out to be "essentially a huge black plastic tarp." With the sheet in place, there wasn't enough soil to grow vegetables, and beneficial earthworms couldn't get through to help the garden, either.

"In short, I paid to have my garden plastic-wrapped, and I now have to unwrap it," said the Redditor. "It's a lot of work. When I do cut away the tarp, it leaves little ribbons of itself behind, so now I'm introducing microplastics into the yard."

"I feel like a moron for not saying something when I had the chance, but I'm also angry with my landscaper now," the original poster concluded.

Many commenters agreed that road cloth is bad for the environment — and doesn't even do the job landscapers hope it will do. "People put it in garden beds to supposedly reduce weeds," one user said. "My neighbor's entire garden bed is covered with it, a fresh one every year, and every year by August it's full of weeds."

"You need to do the research," another commenter said. "I know everyone is like 'trust the experts' but that's stupid advice 99% of the time."

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