Modern American Enemy: The Lawn (Part 2)

Last time, we covered the basics on how the advertising agencies created the modern suburban ideal of the lawn. This week, we will go more in depth on a subject we touched on the last post: the unimaginably harmful effects of modern pesticides and herbicides used to keep cultivated plants (grass included) as productive as possible.

Pesticides have been around almost as long as cultivated agriculture has, and they have taken many forms over the millennia: plant extracts, minerals, and heavy metals that interacted with the nervous and respiratory systems of insects were the primary method of crop protection over that time period. With the coming of the Enlightenment and the resulting industrial revolution, the advances in chemical sciences afforded new types of plant treatments that seemed to be, on the whole, more effective at keeping away pests and weeds and allow for optimally productive crops.

The effects of these treatments on pests and weeds, however, also soon proved harmful for the people consuming the fruits, cereals and vegetables produced. Arsenic-based pesticides, commonly used until the 1900s, would leech into the soil and water tables, causing wide-spread pollution in small water tables that would be consumed by locals and over time cause cancer, chronic arsenic poisoning, and skin lesions.

In the 1900s, a number of synthetic chemicals were found to be as or more effective than arsenic at killing pests and weeds, including DDT, glyphosate, and atrazine. The issues with arsenic poisoning quickly fell away, but new and even more disturbing effects began to show themselves as a result of switching to synthetic chemicals.

Many of the chemicals, developed through scientific funding by the military, were not well understood outside of the immediately positive effects they had on pest and weed populations. This lack of understanding of (or, perhaps, willful disregard of) the deleterious effects of synthetic pesticides on both the environment and people, lead to some insane projects in the vain hope of destroying pest populations, including spraying entire neighborhoods and towns with pesticides. The immediate effects of this were respiratory issues and skin rashes and lesions, but the more horrific effect was the birth defects and hormonal disruptions in the offspring of the populations being sprayed.

DDT, glyphosates, and atrazine, are some of the most widely used synthetic chemical pesticides in the world, used in both domestic and commercial plant cultivation, and all three have been found to cause both acute poisoning and have long-lasting chronic effects on populations of both humans and animals. The chemicals, most troublingly, cause birth defects, hormonal disruption, and multi-generational sexual reproductive issues, and may be one of the leading causes in the reduction of spermatogenesis in males throughout the western world.

These chemicals are all available for household use, and glyphosate (commonly known under the brand name Round Up) is commonly used in yards and lawns across the country. Natural grass turf is particularly notorious for how easy it is to be destroyed by common weeds, and cheap landscapers all over the country use Round Up as an herbicide to keep lawns looking healthy and uniform.

Lawns, then, are a major vector of the pesticides that are so harmful for us entering domestic water supplies, and it’s our belief that they should be eliminated. Substitutes for lawns, such as synthetic grass, may not be perfect, but in the long run they will be far better for our health than the turf they will be supplanting.

Once again, for southern Californian readers, we will recommend NoMow Turf, a local company who provides artificial turf installations for these purposes. They are extremely well regarded by their customers and provide a service that may end up saving both us and the environment.

NoMow Turf

+18559688873

26674 Vista Terrace, Lake Forest, CA 92630

Modern American Enemy: The Lawn

Over the years, this publication has covered and extensive number of subjects that raise our ire or deserve public notice. One item that we have long held both distaste for and felt the need to alert people to is the insidious manufactured cultural phenomenon that is the suburban lawn.

Lawns and lawn care, widely depicted in popular culture as a staple of suburban home life and the subject of pride in many a homeowner, in reality is a construct of modern advertising (much like the rest of suburbanism). Most homes did not include a lawn until the advertising apparatus was up and running, depicting wealthy homeowners happily mowing large lawns on palatial estates.

This was, of course, kicked into overdrive in the aftermath of World War I, which saw the development of many large-scale methods of manufacturing public opinion and perspective stemming from psychological warfare experiments used on European populations to maintain morale on the home front. Advertising firms, staffed with returning members of the intelligence divisions of the various militaries, quickly jumped on many of the new techniques, and lawn care companies were among many various industries who saw the benefits of shaping a new society that was primed to purchase their wares.

From these advertisements came the image of the ideal suburban home, suspended like an island in a sea of perfectly manicured and hardy native grasses. That ideal image fell short of reality in many respects, the lawn first among them.

Far from being hardy, the grass itself is a lifeform that does not much care for living, especially in the tightly controlled confines presented by the boundary lines designated by local civil authorities. The plant needs near constant maintenance to sustain its luscious green and uniform coloration, and much of that maintenance comes at the expense of both the homeowner and nature.

Lawns can take up hours of an owner’s time and a great deal of their wealth, trying its best to die a dignified death while they try futilely to force it to keep on living. Weed killers, pesticides, fungicides, and all manner of artificial and chemical fertilizers are poured into the ground before the hundreds of gallons of water needed to keep the stuff alive washes it into local water tables to be slurped up by the various animals we eat.

We’ve talked extensively about these chemical fertilizers and pesticides before, so we won’t go further into the obvious effects this is having on our collective health. The bottom line is, lawns are terrible for us, terrible for the animals, and terrible for our natural environment. They are trash!

For a suitable replacement that still gives that dopamine rush provided by a lush green lawn without the nasty side effects of keeping it alive and tidy, we recommend looking into artificial turf. The fake stuff is beginning to look just as good as the real stuff, and you don’t have to worry about its effects on local amphibians after a rainstorm.

There are thousands of artificial turf installers around the country, but the ones nearest and dearest to our hearts here in California are NoMow Turf, a local company that’s been servicing communities here get rid of their chemical nightmares and replace it with quality synthetic turf for the better part of 15 years. Their installations are pitch-perfect, as evidenced by the numerous glowing testimonials on their Yelp page:

Read Kolt K.‘s review of NoMow Turf on Yelp

As with many things in modern life, lawns are a form of psychological warfare perpetrated by large advertising companies designed to turn you into a SLAVE. If you are tired of playing their games, get yourself an artificial lawn; your wallet and the water table will thank you

NoMow Turf

(866) 679-4863

26674 Vista Terrace, Lake Forest, CA 92630

The Root Of The Mystery

On bright spring morning, Detective Holmes stepped out of his home office for a breather outside. He couldn’t help but notice that his lawn looked terrible. The grass was patchy and a dull shade of green. Then, he looked up across the street, and noticed that every lawn in his neighbourhood looked the same. What a sore sight! He sighed. He had spent quite a fortune on maintaining his lawn, and wondered what it had all been for. In fact, what what was the point of anything? He took a deep breath. He had tendency to question every thought with an existential philosophy. He was a deep thinker who had experienced and witnessed much, perhaps too much, in life, and wanted to understanding the meaning of it all.

Holmes went back inside. As he sat down and began to ponder the great existential question of human existence, he paused. He glanced at his book shelf, his cat, and his tea pot. It was beautiful, and he came to the realization that perhaps the meaning of life was to simply enjoy all of the beauty of it. He sighed a long and deep sigh, coming to terms with a long-forgotten sense of inner peace.

But then he remembered what he saw that morning. “Grrr!” he exasperated. “What is the matter?” Holmes was determined to get to the bottom of the mystery of the sad grass. He sat back in his chair. He was a smart man who knew better than to look at situations from their mere surface. He leapt out of his chair, ran to his shed, and grabbed this shovel. Holmes found himself digging for answers as he shovelled through the soil of his front lawn.

Stack of Gray Stones

“Aha!!” he exclaimed. He was glad he found the answer, but frustrated that this meant that he had been spending a fortune on grass that was in no healthy condition to grow. What he found from his digging was that the soil and clay composition of the ground simply wasn’t the best for growing lush green grass. Holmes ran back to his shed, threw his shovel inside, and raced back into his office. “I will find an alternative!” he shouted to himself. He was the type of man who was relentless and always focused on finding a solution.

He figured real grass was no longer physically viable, nor was it a cost-friendly option. Holmes conducted some further investigation and discovered that artificial grass had become increasingly popular over the years in Orange County. However, the man was a skeptic and did not trust popular opinion. He had to discover the truth on his own and see it with his own eyes.

With some more research and reading online reviews, he stumbled across NoMow Turf, an artificial turf installation company that happened to be based in Orange County. He looked carefully at each photo on the site, and while he was normally a hard man to impress, Holmes was dazzled. He gave them a call and had his new lawn installed the very next day.

If you are finding it difficult or costly to grow and maintain your lawn, check out NoMow Turf and give them a call.