The bad news is that taking care of lawns typically uses a lot of water, chemicals, and gas. The good news is that there are a lot of things you can do to green up your lawn, no pun intended.
Each weekend, about 54 million Americans mow their lawns, using 800 million gallons of gas per year and producing tons of air pollutants.
Garden equipment engines, like lawn mowers, weed whackers and more are responsible for up to 5% of the nation's air pollution. Lawns are also the recipients of copious amounts of petroleum-based fertilizers that leach into our water and pollute ecosystems.
Utah is the second driest state in the nation, yet we are the highest water per capita water users. Irrigation is the biggest water use in Utah, going to irrigation for lawns and agriculture. The typical Utah household uses twice the amount for outdoors as necessary. You can check the Weekly Water Guide to check how often you should water.
For the average US family of 4, over 60 gallons a day goes to watering lawns and gardens. Much of that water used for landscape irrigation is wasted either through inefficient irrigation systems, evaporation, wind and over-watering. Lawns are responsible for most of the outdoor water waste and surprisingly almost none of the grasses grown are even native to America. On top of that Americans spend an estimated $40 billion annually on grass and lawns. So it should save you some money on watering and hopefully even on maintenance with some of our tips.
But, lawns are also the place where we got to rest and play outdoors. They are great places to gather with friends and family and if maintained in a natural and environmentally friendly way, can also help the environment. Lawns and healthy grass provide a feeding ground for birds, grass prevents erosion, helps filter contaminants, and absorbs many airborne contaminants.
For Park City Municipal Water Customers, you should already know that there is a Watering Ordinance in place to help conserve water. This ordinance restricts you to watering your lawn every other day in accordance with your street address. But you also have an option to water every third day. The ‘Every Third Day’ Program will exempt you from the every other day rule and will help you consume less water. Just contact the Park City Water department at 615-5301 to be placed on the ‘Every Third Day’ list. You’ll receive a sign to place in your yard to show your effort in helping Park City conserve water and it also lets officials know so you won't get a ticket. For more water saving tips, see our website at www.parkcitywater.org.