Society evolves, albeit sometimes slowly. I am 49 years old. There are things happening now that I would not have predicted when I was young. Aside from the fact that gasoline is unleaded, DDT is banned, and there is more truth in advertising (cigarettes were once advertised as being good for us), we have a black President. Gays can marry. Whole Foods and Tesla are darlings of Wall Street. When I fly towards the west or go hiking in Maine, I see huge wind farms. Healthcare is finally available to all.
At the beginning of all of these movements are a select few of deemed “radicals,” people with courage and foresight to challenge the status quo. I feel like I’ve been surrounded by such people my entire life. My parents thought rather radically and associated with like-minded people.
When hurricane Isabel roared through the DC region back in 2003, over a dozen large trees fell in my wooded yard. The lot was already somewhat of a mess with invasive English ivy smothering everything. The previous owners planted bramble everywhere.
I had a minuscule lawn and 2 kids with 1 on the way. I decided it was time to clear it all out (leaving the existing trees) and put down grass seed to hold the ground. In the spring we spread seed and hay and I naively called a lawn care company to get my lawn started. I signed a contract for a year’s service. Sometime in June, after a few “applications” and some rainfall, I walked out onto my patio and slipped and fell. There was algae growing everywhere. My grass was turning dark green.
I realized then that I’d been paying for a plethora of unneeded chemical applications that were hurting the environment. I never put anything on my lawn ever again, and I started to take notice of the industry and our assumptions about lawns in general. I cringe when I see those little signs on yards telling us that’s chemicals have been applied.
Maybe lawns are important to so many because they’re seen as status symbols, similar to what seems like other affluent suburban anxieties over who drives the most luxurious car, who lives in the biggest house, where our kids go to college, what top sports league our kids play in, even what fancy breed of dog we walk. Regardless, the world would be better off if certain industries were to go bankrupt. I’m adding lawn care to that list.
MOM’s is taking action this month as we launch our Save the Dandelions campaign to educate people about the impact of chemical lawns. From March 15-23, we will collect any unwanted lawn chemicals from customers and safely dispose of them; we will be educating our customers about the negative environmental impacts of lawn chemicals; and we will launch an advertising campaign to shift public perception towards embracing imperfect, natural yards. Save the Dandelions!