Buying a Home? Consider a Smaller Lawn Less landscaping, less environmental impact More than 8,000 familiar are expected to move into Southwest Louisiana sooner rather than later, according to the SWLA Economic Development Alliance. This can have a profound effect on the area’s carbon footprint. When choosing a new home, buyers often consider issues related to schools, neighborhood, floorplan, and house age. If you currently find yourself in the market, the environmental committee of the Alliance alerts potential buyers to a less-mentioned, yet important factor to consider—environmental effects. Moving out to the “country” onto a big plot of land might be your dream, but when that dream becomes reality and you find yourself with a large lawn to mow and landscape to maintain, it may result in considerable expense and environmental repercussions. For one, gas-burning yard maintenance equipment like lawn mowers and weed eaters have some of the least efficient engines around. Operating a push mower for an hour can spew nearly the same amount of pollution into the air as a 100-mile car trip. Those emissions are also a considerable source of smog or ozone, which is bad for you and your family’s health. Developed landscape and lawns are also much less efficient at soaking up rainwater. Collectively, all the acreage in our area dedicated to roads, parking lots, and lawn space has led to an increase in storm water runoff and flooding.
New development accompanying our increasing area population has the potential to add to the problem. Cutting back on the size of our lawns and landscaping can have a positive impact on our environment. If the thousands of families projected to move into Southwest Louisiana choose homes on halfacre lots, rather than full acres, this could mean fewer emissions from yard maintenance and would help maintain our air quality. It will also help control flooding. Further benefit could be realized through low maintenance landscaping and minimizing lawn areas. So consider a smaller lawn. You’ll spend less time and money toiling in your yard and we all may breathe a bit easier, too.
More in the Know – About Ozone
The actions of area residents have a profound effect on ground-level ozone formation. Each time we mow the lawn, fill our tanks with gas, or perform household chores, we are presented with an opportunity to play our part in maintaining good air quality in Southwest Louisiana. Here’s how to reduce your ozone contribution at home: • Keep your car maintained and serviced to ensure that you’re getting the best gas mileage possible. A well-maintained car produces up to 30 percent less air pollution. • Keep tires properly inflated. • Don’t let your car idle. • Carpool with friends. • Combine errands. • Don’t overfill your gas tank. When it’s full, make sure the cap is tight. • Mow and perform other lawn work after 5 p.m. • Refuel after 5 p.m. • Avoid solvent-based products; use water-based paint, stain and sealants. • Seal containers of household, shop and garden chemicals and solvents. October 2015
Thrive Magazine for Better Living
October 2015 Issue of Thrive