Let lawn brown

We need to act more consciously about our own part in greenhouse gas emissions and the effect our activities have on others elsewhere.

I couldn’t agree more with Peter Boulton’s letter (The NEWS, May 10). We need to act more consciously about our own part in greenhouse gas emissions and the effect our activities have on others elsewhere.

Fossil fuel lawn machines are a source of greenhouse gases that we can eliminate simply. Private green lawns are an anachronism from the days of white-picket-fence-suburbia. A green lawn is a vanity that is no longer relevant or sustainable. A green lawn is a net producer of greenhouse gasses.

While grass does sequester some CO2, there is much more CO2 produced by the use of fossil fuel lawn machines and the decomposition of the clippings. Many of us enjoy green grass once in a while. When you need your grass fix, go golfing, lawn bowling, play soccer, walk in the park or do some other activity that utilizes community turf-grass. The only time most people walk on their private lawn is to mow it.

In the days of water shortages, rising temperatures and increasing greenhouse gasses, we need to do more as individuals. You can let your lawn go brown, as many responsible people do. Better yet, how about planting trees or shrubbery? And rather than cutting down large old trees, why not choose to limb lower branches? This gives the benefit of shade in the summer and low-angle light in the winter.

I see many old trees being cut down by new immigrants to the oceanside area. The sea and the forest are part of what makes this area special and contribute to the climate we enjoy. Cutting down the trees eliminates an important carbon sink and will affect our local climate. The prairies have their own charm, but I choose not to live on a prairie. Let’s preserve our natural heritage. Let’s be more conscious of the consequences of our actions.

David MitchellQualicum Beach

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