It has become fashionable to get rid of your lawn and replace it with artificial grass. And while you’re almost guaranteed a relatively maintenance-free surface, you could be depriving yourself of a range of environmental- and health benefits from cultivating natural grass.
So, if you’re considering going grass-free, stop for a moment and evaluate what you’re likely to lose.
This article explores MOOWY’s top 5 benefits of cultivating a natural lawn, examining a range of surprising advantages to your mental health AND the planet.
Benefit #1: Real lawns purify the air
Plants absorb carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. Grass species, in particular, are super-absorbers, helping maintain the balance of CO2 in the atmosphere.
And once your lawn has absorbed the CO2, it releases oxygen.
So, your grass is helping clean the air around your home. This is particularly essential if you live in a city.
As well as trapping CO2, lawns trap dust from the air, which is good for your lungs, especially if you suffer from respiratory conditions, such as asthma. This dust absorption also means that your lawn keeps your windows and car clean.
Benefit #2: Real lawns help prevent flooding
Your lawn acts like a sponge, which quickly absorbs heavy rain. This helps save water because your lawn needs less manual watering during periods of drought
while minimising water run-off from downpours, which prevents flash flooding.
Compare that with the paved or decked areas of your garden where water washes away immediately.
That water run-off has to go somewhere, and it ultimately runs into storm drains, which eventually pollutes rivers and lakes because it drags gravel, mulch, and dirt into the water system.
A natural lawn slows down the run-off, giving time for the excess water to seep into the groundwater system.
Benefit #3: Real lawns minimise noise pollution
Built-up areas often feel noisier than smaller suburban streets. Of course, towns and cities experience a lot of traffic noise, but regions with lots of lawns are generally noticeably quieter.
This is because your lawn helps absorb noise pollution, acting like a blanket that sucks in sounds from traffic and other environmental sounds.
Built-up areas are concrete landscapes that amplify environmental sound. Sound bounces off the hard surfaces of buildings, while softer, irregular surfaces, like a lawn, help dampen the environmental sound.
Benefit #4: Natural lawns help improve your mental health
Unlikely as it may sound, a natural lawn can help your emotional health.
You might have heard about the benefits of “tree bathing” – the experience of walking through forests, engaging in the silence and fresh air provided by the surrounding trees.
Well, walking on grass with bare feet offers similar benefits.
The practice is known as “grounding”, and researchers believe that being in direct contact with the planet’s subtle electrical charge can help:
- Improve sleep
- Reduce pain
- Minimise muscle tension
- Reduce stress
Researchers also believe that direct contact with the earth’s surface helps maintain a healthy circadian rhythm by synchronising with the natural cycle of day and night.
While you might be sceptical, give it a go. Walk on your lawn with bare feet for a couple of minutes each day, and try it yourself. You might discover a little moment of calm; a tiny window of solitude that helps lower your stress symptoms.
Benefit #5: Your lawn adds value to your home
The pandemic has forced us all to reconnect with our homes. And as a result, homes with established gardens have shot up in value.
Lockdown was tricky for everyone, but people with gardens or outdoor space were lucky. Being confined to the home was difficult, but if you had a garden, it didn’t feel quite so claustrophobic.
A well-presented lawn is a thing of beauty and adds curb appeal to the desirability of your home. So, if you’re considering putting your house up for sale, it’s worth spending a little time on your lawn.
If your lawn is patchy, you could simply overseed it. Get hold of some premium grass seed, and make the most of your outdoor space with an asset that’s both good for the environment AND your mental health.