Leaf blowing 10-98   ©Christopher GardnerDid You Know?

Landscaping Facts

  • According to an EPA study of 19 urban areas, more than 5 percent of air pollution comes from landscaping tools
  • One hour of mowing the lawn pollutes as much as 100 miles of driving and the average American spends 40 hours a year mowing – equivalent to 4000 miles of driving
  • Keeping lawns green uses as much as half of all the fresh water used in urban areas each year, according to the E.P.A.
  • Older gas lawnmowers emit as much pollution in an hour as an average car driving 18.7 miles
  • Every year Americans throw away 24 million tons of leaves and grass. Leaves alone account for 75% of solid waste in the fall. All of this needs to be trucked to landfills or processing locations far away from urban centers.

Success Stories:

Home Composting in Lafayette

Submitted By: Bart Carr (bart_carr@yahoo.com) Challenge Like many homes in Lafayette, we have a large, well landscaped front and back yard including grass lawns, shrubbery, lots trees, and a seasonal vegetable garden. All of this requires weekly maintenance producing yard waste for disposal. Using our 65 gallon yard waste recycling cart as a measure, our weekly generation of yard waste averages around 40 gallons per week during the summer months. ...Read More

Siphoning Bathtub Water to Irrigate Our Yard

Submitted By: Renee Emerson (rmkemerson@aol.com) Challenge We have always been interested in recycling everything possible. A little over three years ago we looked into using our gray water to water the yard, but found the plumbing changes necessary to make a permanent system cost prohibitive.   Meanwhile, we had three teenage girls who all loved to take long, hot baths in our jucuzzi type tub, which seemed wasteful. ...Read More

Planting a Drought-Tolerant Lawn

Submitted By: Mary Ransdell (mbransdell@comcast.net) Challenge: To conserve water and still have a front “lawn”. When my family purchased our home in Lafayette in 2008, about 900 square feet of the front garden was made up of a patchy, grass – and the sprinkler system had long been defunct. With water being such a precious resource here in California, we didn’t feel good about the idea of having a new sprinkler system installed and new sod laid down to replace… ...Read More

A New “Mow and Blow” Model

Submitted By: Steve Richard (swrichard@comcast.net) Challenge Every time our weekly “mow and blow” lawn service came to cut our grass and blow our leaves around, I felt somewhat annoyed by all the noise, but put up with it anyway, figuring our lawn was too large to cut myself. After reading about the amount of emissions created from gas-powered yard tools (one hour of mowing creates the same amount of emissions as driving 100 miles and 5 percent of all air… ...Read More