Monday, June 18, 2012



The moment when I am working at a public education booth and talk about the benefits of leaving lawn trimmings right on the lawn, and letting them act as a nutrient rich mulch. I get looks from people as if I’m asking them to give up their first-born child. “Me? Leave my grass clippings on the lawn? Are you serious?” “Do you know how ugly that looks?” “NO, I could NEVER do that”.

Some people in Calgary are very hesitant to do anything that might make their pristine lawns look unsightly. Little do they know that if they maintain their lawn on a regular basis, and include grass-cycling in their lawn care regime, they can cut down on watering, improve the quality and health of their grass, and most importantly keep that grass out of the landfill! It’s easy, cut your lawn regularly; cutting no more than a third of the grass blade at a time and let it fall down into your lawn.

My coworker and I spent time in a Calgary community once a week in the morning on their garbage collection day and counted bags of grass for a month. The record was thirty-three bags of grass in the back alley behind one home. Thirty-three. In one week. We gathered quantitative data for a consecutive four-week period. The next step is to divide the community into four quadrants. One quadrant will receive door hangers about the benefits of grass-cycling in a polycentric type approach. Think about your yard and think about all of the yards in Calgary, and the impact of all the grass in our landfills. Another quadrant will receive a visit from a member of the education team as we door knock to deliver the benefits of grass-cycling in person. The third quadrant receives a door hangar about the benefits to them as residents and homeowners should they choose to grass cycle. The last quadrant will receive no visit, nor a door hangar.  

It will be extremely interesting to visit this community after the campaign is over and see the results!

For more on grass-cycling: I challenge you to try it at least once this summer!

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