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That said, if you must use Firefox (and I don't blame you, it's become my browser of choice, too)
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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Lawn Racket - by Stan Cox

Now that May is here, perhaps you're looking out at your lawn and thinking it needs mowing. Instead, you might want to think about whether you need that lawn at all.
The problem isn't grass. Humans first lived on the grasslands of Africa, and until not so long ago, grasslands covered far greater swaths of North America than they do now.
 
But landscapes like those bear little resemblance to the classic American lawn -- an industrial, shocking-green carpet whose very survival depends on our polluting the environment and disturbing the peace.
 
Other kinds of home landscapes can grow pollution-free. A natural-yard movement is showing that  combinations of rugged plants, including grasses, can be far more interesting than a standard lawn while requiring little mowing, no spraying or fertilizing, and even no irrigation.
 
By contrast, the “perfect” lawn is a monotony of color and texture, yields no useful harvest, and may rarely even be trod upon. But for growing the lawn-care industry a crop of hard cash, the synthetic grasslands of suburbia are fertile ground indeed. To replace all of that high-maintenance turf with something more resilient -- to stow all that equipment and dispose of all those chemicals -- would cause a $35 billion industry to wither.
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