Living Green


Raise your hand if you believe in living green!  Green living is a hot topic these days, so hurry up and jump on this bandwagon powered by a hybrid motor and solar energy.  We have green cars for greener travel, green stores with green products, green weddings, green fabrics for green fashion, green light bulbs, and even a greener mining practices.

With spring just around the corner, my favorite form of green living is about to wake up from its winter slumber.  As the days grow longer, and the weather heats up, suburban homes around the country will begin to surround themselves with green.  It is time to blow out the sprinkler systems, buy a few bags of fertilizer, and fire up the gas powered lawn mowers to see who can be the greenest in the neighborhood!

We Americans love our lawns.  A thick healthy carpet of green surrounding our houses is certainly a status symbol, but let’s look at how far we go to stay green, and ask ourselves just how green we are really living.

Think of lawns as crops and the people growing them as urban farmers.  First the farmer digs up the old yard and buries plastic tubes, valves, and sprinklers.  Then he replaces the grass and introduces chemicals (some greener than others) that will help it grow, more chemicals that will keep away unwanted insects, and still more chemicals that will ensure only the grass he planted will grow and not allow other plants, grasses, dandelions, or clover, to grow along side his selected variety.  The farmer then proceeds to dump thousands of gallons of water on his crop so it will grow as fast and as thick as possible,  Why?   So he can harvest it every week and throw it away.

This is a fairly extreme form of green living considering that the land and water could have been used to grow fruits or vegetables.  What would our friends in developing countries, where food is scarce, do with these kinds of land and water resources?  I am not saying that we should all dig up our yards and plant gardens.  I like a good yard as much as the next guy.  I am just wondering how green we are living by living so green?

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    • Faisal Al-Khalidi
    • March 10th, 2010

    Wow, I never thought of that.

    • Lui S.
    • March 10th, 2010

    Yey for urban farms and eating food you grew in your own back yeard… its the best meal you will have the whole year!
    Lawns… they are just pretty to look at it and not worth the energy you put into it.. a vegetable garden is pretty to look at and yummy to eat…

    I dont have a garden (yikes, apts) but I do have my window with enough space for some herbs to grow :oD

    • lui, Maybe you should convert your bedroom into a greenhouse. Make sure there is enough room for a bed and you will be sleeping in nature. Just beware of tomato worms in your bed! Yuck!

    • inyourrecyclebin
    • March 12th, 2010

    Really enjoying your blog, I live in Birmingham England and we have just heard of plans for our national coach services to be converted and use hybrid engines, a big green thumbs up.
    I enjoy your take on the “greener garden” don’t know if your familiar with the nursery rhyme “how green does your garden grow?” But I am seriously contemplating vamping my green status up a notch by adding perhaps a few tomato plants at least as the weather doesn’t permit much more!

    • Gardening in England must be a bit of a challenge! Here is an article that claims you can grow enough food in your 10X10 garden (in England) to feed your family for a year! Says you can grow potatoes, beans, carrots, onions, and more. Good luck being green!
      http://www.essortment.com/all/organicvegetabl_rqve.htm

    • Komal Ali
    • April 6th, 2010

    i’m actually concentrating in environmental chemistry and just finished up a green chemistry course. you’d be amazed at the things i’ve learned!

    • Feel free to share some of the high points here! I would be very interested!

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