A big part of buying a home is also undertaking the lawn that comes with it. Having a big, green, healthy lawn has been an iconic American dream for decades. But how important are lawns to us, really? For starters, maintaining a healthy lawn is just as important as maintaining and renovating other parts of your home. The vast majority of real estate agents (97%) place landscaping as a top five home improvement recommendation that can yield up at a 215% return on investment. On average, investing in landscaping can increase a home’s value by 12-14%.
So yes, lawns certainly matter in terms of how we value property. But whether a lawn is large or small, flat or on a hill, it’s important to keep environmentally friendly lawn care in mind, too. Not only will this additional, safer lawn care keep your lawn looking its best, it will also result in positive effects for our environment. What exactly do we mean by “safe lawn care?” It seems that any type of yard maintenance that doesn’t result in a lost finger or limb could be regarded as safe. But, to reiterate, safe lawn care in this context refers to environmentally friendly lawn care, or “green lawn care.”
You might wonder how lawn care can be harmful to the environment. The answer largely resides in what is used to control weeds. A chemical commonly used to kill weeds is called 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, or just 2,4-D. While this herbicide is effective at removing weeds from one’s lawn, it has recently been proven to potentially cause cancer in animals and humans. To be fair, 2,4-D resides in the same category of carcinogens as coffee in terms of risk. Using large amounts of 2,4-D on one’s lawn, however, can negatively impact the environment. The chemical is highly toxic to fish and other aquatic life forms, for instance.
Fortunately, there are ways to take care of your lawn and get rid of pesky weeds without poisoning it and potentially harming local animals and pets. The start to any healthy lawn is in the soil. This is where the grass grows, after all. Feeding your soil pesticides and other harmful chemicals may superficially make your lawn look better, but it will interfere with the natural ecosystem of creatures beneath the soil helping it function properly. Using organic fertilizers will maintain this natural balance.
Recycling by composting waste and food products is another way to take care of your lawn and the environment at large. If you’re unsure of what is safe to compost and how to do it, there is plenty of help online that will set you on the right path! Lastly, when it comes to getting rid of those bothersome insects and pests, stay away from products like 2,4-D and instead try natural pesticides. These include garlic spray, neem extract, and even toads!
Remember, environmentally friendly lawn care is pet friendly lawn care and family friendly lawn care, too! Taking care of your lawn the way it deserves may take a little additional time and effort, but the result will be a healthy, happy lawn that will both help out the environment and increase your property’s value.