Here is another topic that’s relatively insignificant in itself but points to a larger issue.
Why do so many of us have lawns when other options make more sense?
Lawns require a lot of work. Most people use noisy machines to maintain them and this bothers neighbors and is stressful. And they create a desert-like mono-culture that is not good for most insects and animals.
The alternatives make so much more sense. A meadow is beautiful, low maintenance (just need to mow and remove the plant matter in the fall), and creates habitat for a great number of insects and animals that sorely need it. An intelligently designed food garden (using permaculture principles) can be created to be multi-level, low maintenance, and produce wonderful fruits, berries, and nuts.
The answer to the why question is, of course, conformity and convenience. It takes time and effort to create something else, especially when most people don’t know how to do it. And it goes against the expectations and behavior of neighbors.
And sometimes, lawns can be useful for certain sports and games. But there is no reason why we can’t have a spot of lawn for dinners and sports, and the rest as a meadow and/or a multi-story food garden.
So much is like this, these days. What most of us do makes little sense, apart from being convenient and conforming with the way things have been done in recent times. We have very good alternatives that are attractive at many levels. And we just need to shift.
And that shifting requires an avant-garde that experiments and shows that it works and is attractive (happening), and eventually structural changes so it’s easy for others to make the transition (somewhat happening but not quite yet at a larger scale).
- conventient, conformity
- yet require a lot of work, noisy machines, looks ugly compared with alternatives
- meadow and/or food production
I have long been puzzled by lawns. I know their history and how they came to be popular. But why do people persist in wanting and having lawns?
Of course, the answer is conformity and convenience. It takes time and effort to create something else, even if it makes more sense. And it goes against the expectations and behavior of neighbors. And sometimes, lawns can be useful for playing certain sports and games.