While our lawns are a major source of beauty and comfort; a place to relax, play and enjoy time with family and friends they also provide a host of environmental benefits. Lawn plants absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, act as a natural filter for our waterways and cool the area around our homes.
Great for our atmosphere
Grass plays an important role in combating the build-up of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the environment. It sequesters carbon from the atmosphere and stores it within the soil and it does this with a greater flexibility than trees. Studies have shown the lawn continues to sequester carbon even at high levels of carbon dioxide unlike the trees around it which will shut down when overloaded.
Lawn plants also produce oxygen more efficiently than trees too. The average Australian backyard lawn will absorb enough carbon dioxide and produce enough oxygen for a family of four!
Grass also traps tonnes of dust, dirt and pollen annually that is released into the environment making for a cleaner atmosphere for everyone, particularly those with respiratory conditions and allergies. Better for the environment; better for you.
Great for cooling
A lawn will greatly reduce the heat around it and therefore your home. In the middle of summer your lawn is 10 degrees Celsius cooler than bare soil, 20 degrees less than concrete or pebbles and a whopping 40 degrees less than dry synthetic turfs. For an average sized front lawn has the cooling effect of 8.75 tonnes of air conditioning which is amazing considering that most home air conditioner have only a 3-4 tonne capacity – without the staggering power bill to match or other negative effects on the environment. Grass even has a greater cooling effect than trees and achieves the same cooling as an open water pool while being 40% less wasteful in water evaporation. Lawn is nature’s air conditioner.
A great little eco system
Your lawn contains a huge number of good bacteria and fungi that breaks down any organic pollutant while also acting as a nature filter for our waterways. Lawn reduces soil erosion, water runoff and by filtering water acts as a recharge for underground supplies. Grass is also a natural breeding ground for some animals and insects which play a vital role in maintaining a balanced eco system. Who knew that much was being achieved right out there in your very own backyard?
Lawn provides a natural and healthy barrier between your home and other types of vegetation. Why is this an environmental benefit? This barrier offers protection in a bushfire prone area by providing a natural fire break between trees and your home, retarding any approaching fire. The back or front lawn also creates a safer environment by restricting the amount of vegetation close to your home which could house snakes, spiders and rodents.
The good old Aussie lawn has environmental benefits far beyond its good looks and space for the family to play cricket; far more than we usually give it credit for.