Residential and commercial lawns are often maligned by strict conservationists as being a waste of natural resources, such as water and nutrients. The truth is healthy, dense lawns are a wonderful part of a healthy ecosystem. They absorb rainfall four times more effectively than a field of hay and six times more effectively than a field of wheat, and 2,000 times better than bare soil. Consequently, lawns prevent erosion of our topsoil and stop additional phosphorous from finding its way into our rivers and streams.
Sod Instantly Increases Cooling
When you plant a new, lush, sod lawn, you are planting well-established grass. This grass has an immediate cooling effect. The front lawns of eight average houses can produce the same amount of cooling as 70 tons of air conditioning. To put that in perspective, the average central air unit in a home has an average of 3-4 tons of cooling capacity.
Healthier Air and Water Quality
A healthy, dense lawn will provide necessary oxygen to the planet by its natural process of photosynthesis. This process also helps to eliminate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere. Furthermore, a healthy lawn helps to trap and filter the estimated 12 million tons of dust and dirt released into the US atmosphere each year. The grass roots and microbes surrounding them act as a natural filter to breakdown pollutants that would otherwise end up in our underground aquifers.
While we continue to build habitat and infrastructure, we are losing natural areas of drainage. Traditionally, we have been removing water from the areas surrounding our homes as quickly as possible, using drainage that ends up in our streams and rivers. This results in flooding, bank erosion and sedimentation. This process also puts a strain on our water treatment plants.
A new trend toward keeping the water on site, and using the power of grassy spaces to filter it back into clean groundwater, is catching on all over the country. Your healthy lawn is part of this new, green infrastructure, which is very effective at preventing flooding and run-off.
It is clear that a newly sodded lawn is beneficial to the planet, but it is also beneficial to you, the homeowner. Besides all the direct and indirect environmental advantages, a healthy lawn is a source of beauty; just looking at it, or stepping barefoot onto the lush, cool turf, can help you to relax. In fact, it has been noted that hospitalized patients looking out onto green, landscaped spaces recovered more quickly than those with non-landscaped views did.