We hear a lot today about the environment. In fact, it seems almost as if focusing on improving the environment has become the “coolest” thing to do these days. But did you know that all you have to do to start being a true environmentalist is by looking right under your feet?
The earth is truly an amazing planet, utterly unique in our observations to date and the shear magnitude of its resources is nearly unfathomable. While industry and technology have provided jobs and goods to make life easier, the effect on our environment has been substantial. Many of us who grew up in the 1970’s can remember the widespread and rampant decline of our environment as it was burned into our minds by Chief Iron Eyes Cody in the 1971 public service message the “Crying Indian.” The tag line of that commercial was “People start pollution, People can stop it.” (If you were born in a later generation or don’t remember the commercial, watch it here on YouTube.)
Since the 1970’s we have made many strides towards improving the impact our industries and our personal activities have on the environment. Unfortunately, over the last few years we have begun to see quite a bit of misinformation about the environmental impacts that maintaining a landscape has on our environment. The truth is that a healthy well-maintained landscape is an environmental benefit.
The Benefits of Turfgrass
The U.S. Congress has acknowledged the following positive benefits to our environment: “Turfgrass sod in urban areas and communities can aid in the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, mitigating the heat island effect, reducing energy consumption and contributing to efforts to reduce global warming trends.”
Our turfgrass lawns, parks, and open areas:
- Provide a natural, comfortable, and safe setting for fun and games.
- Release oxygen and cool the air.
- Control pollution by sequestering more carbon than is released by their maintenance.
- Reduce soil erosion.
- Purify and replenish our water supply.
The satisfaction of creating beauty within the landscape can be rewarding for you and the environment. With turfgrass sod and landscape trees and shrubs, the rewards are practically immediate.
Research has shown that a well-maintained lawn and landscape can enhance the “curb appeal” adding as much as 15 percent to the value of a home.
Landscape trees, shrubs and grasses are very effective in reducing pollution. Landscapes trap and remove dust and dirt from the air. 2,500 square feet of lawn absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and release enough oxygen for a family of four to breathe.
Nature’s Air Conditioner
Another benefit that everyone enjoys, usually without notice, is the landscapes tremendous cooling effect. On a hot summer day, lawns will be 30 degrees cooler than asphalt and 14 degrees cooler than bare soil. The front lawns of eight houses have the cooling effect of about 70 tons of air conditioning. That is amazing when the average home has an air conditioner with just a three or four ton capacity. The cooling effect of landscapes reduces the amount of fuel that must be burned to provide the electricity which powers the air conditioners. This gives landscapes a positive net effect on atmospheric carbon reduction.
A Natural Filter
Storm water runoff in urban areas carries many pollutants. Turfgrass acts as a natural filter, significantly reducing pollution by purifying the water passing through its root zone.
The clean gentle strength of turfgrass is the most cost-effective method for controlling wind and water erosion. Bare soil landscape beds or mulch beds are much less resistant to erosion than a dense lawn.
Our Mental Health
Beautiful landscapes quietly add to the beauty of our lives and even our mental and physical health. Doctors have shown that people recover faster in a hospital when given a landscape view, rather than seeing only the walls of adjoining buildings.
At Massey Services we strongly believe in being a responsible steward of our environment. Our Landscape Services are a great way to help you improve yours.
Adam W. Jones
Director of Quality Assurance